Archives for posts with tag: openness

I’m sipping my coffee and listening to the rain fall. The dawn is gray, and it’s hard to accept that day break is past, and this… is it. Morning. No “sunrise” in any obvious way. The sky is a drizzly homogeneous featureless gray. I woke planning to paint. I still feel peculiarly energized to paint, and likely will. I’ll probably “go off script” from there, though, and “just paint” instead of working with purpose, plan, and structure on pieces that I have already sketched out in my head. I know what works for me, artistically.

I contemplate conversations with friends from yesterday. The afternoon was spent wrapped in warmth and intimate affection, connected close friendships, easy hang out time. We shared a bite of late lunch-not-quite-dinner, sufficient to fuel the afternoon hours without the distraction of hunger to throw off the genial vibe. Both very good friends of mine, neither had met the other previously, and we all had a great time – it was a well-connected, deep, experience. The conversation was lively, fun in spots, serious in others, and quickly exceeded any sort of “getting to know each other” limitations to become fully invested, authentic, and yeah – deep. Really talking over life. Love. The world. It was soul-nourishing time.

Hanging out and talking, watching cartoons, listening to music – these are very much favorite activities of mine to share with friends. Yesterday was a day well-spent.

I miss my Traveling Partner. I smile, feeling the warmth of his love as a sort of carrier wave on which the details of my experience travel across my consciousness. He would have been so welcome, yesterday. He remains so welcome today. He’s just hundreds of miles away, is all. lol I wish him well, and wrap the thought of him in my love. I would enjoy sharing coffee with him, this morning, and talking over yesterday – and tomorrow. lol Soon enough.

Openness is one of my “Big 5” relationship values. It’s a tricky one – what does that even mean, “openness”? For me, it means both acceptance and non-attachment. It means listening deeply, not just waiting to talk. It means being willing to change my thinking with new information. It means being observant in the moment, and prepared to “go with it” when circumstances or people reveal something more about themselves. It means embracing authenticity, myself, and sharing who I actually am, with others who are sharing who they actually are, too. It means creating an emotionally safe environment for that authenticity to exist. It means learning to communicate without tools like criticism, discouragement, or ad hominem attacks. It means “yes, and…”, instead of “no, but…”. There you go. Go forth and be open! LOL – I know, I know, it isn’t that easy, it does take practice, and your results will definitely vary. πŸ™‚

This morning I got schooled on being open in the most delightful way; I woke to a message asking me where my boundaries may be, on the subject of “getting closer”. Gently handled, clear, frank, and worded such that there just wasn’t any chance of being hurt by the inquiry, or any possible mistake about the intention – quite the contrary. I live pretty openly with this being I have grown to become over time, and I’m not surprised someone besides me would like to be closer. Going beyond the platonic relationship we share now is an exciting thought. No need to rush things along; that’s sort of new, mixed in with all this extra adulting I’ve learned to do. I offer reassurance that I’ve got no preset rules against growing closer, and no objection to it. I find myself wondering if I were sufficiently gracious about it – did I communicate my appreciation? For the desire? For the question? I smile. Everything’s fine. There’s no room for pointless anxiety here. There is always time enough for love. πŸ™‚

The rain intensifies, and perversely I now want to be in the garden. lol Instead, I set a course for the kitchen, a second coffee, and my meditation cushion. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

I mean, it’s just a suggestion. However well you’ve human-ed, so far, do so just a little better today. You’ve had more practice. You’ve got more perspective. You’ve gained experience over time. So, how hard can it be to step up your game, just a smidgen, today, in comparison to all those days that have gone before?

I listen to the ssssshhhh ssssshhhhh of the traffic passing by on the road just in front of the house. Rainy morning? Sounds like it may be. I think about the day ahead. I consider it in the context of days to come, and days that have passed. I find myself thinking about the future, and my relationships – all sorts of relationships. My relationships with partners and metamours are “just the big ones”. Family, too, and those are sort of… inescapable parts of the social experience of living a human life. They tend to add a strangely random quality to my experience, simply because I don’t choose those in the same sense as I choose all the other relationships, and they bring along all manner of things I might have chosen to leave behind. All of us having our own experience, understanding the world, each of us, in the context of our own experience, filtered through our own strangely distorted lens. I think about friends. Associates. Buddies. Acquaintances. Dear ones of all sorts. New friends. Long-time friends. Friends “I don’t actually like” are rare for me, and I contemplate why that is, too. You are on my mind and in heart, today, humanity. πŸ™‚

I could do better. I know more than I did yesterday. I am more skilled at life and love. I have accumulated some small amount of wisdom over time, always in limited supply, and I’ve put down a great quantity of baggage. I’ve given up my youth, but I’ve gained an immense appreciation for the chance to live life. Strange journey.

I could do better. I have opportunities in life, now, that I would not have recognized decades ago. I have new perspective. I care about things that I once could not fathom even being things, at all. I have learned the unavoidable weight and truth of privilege, and what unarguable social responsibility that brings.

I could do better. I’ve grown so much. Still… in spite of the growth, there is no question there is further growth ahead, and that I could still do more, better, more often, for more people, just generally. I could be kinder when I’m tired. I could be more understanding when I am frustrated. I could be more patient when I am pressed for time. I could be more considerate, more respectful, more open, more compassionate, more reciprocal – and every day this is true, when compared to the day before.

I guess I’ll begin again. πŸ™‚

Sometimes life reminds me that I’ll be taking time for all the lessons – not just the ones I think I most want or need to learn.

Feeling well-loved takes many forms.

One of life’s least popular lessons, for me, has been subtle and regularly reinforced; we are each having our own experience. We walk our own hard mile. We see the world from the perspective we have. We work with what we’ve got. This is not subject to argument. It is what it is.

I learned another subtle lesson, some time ago, (and thankfully learned it most coherently through video content (Rick & Morty, mostly), rather than through heart-breaking personal tragedy); sometimes our “best” actions, our most willful intention to “do the right thing” still result in unavoidable suffering elsewhere, or a negative consequence that we are nonetheless responsible for. Again, it is what it is. Understanding that it is, may be the best route to mitigating such things in a way that lessens the negative outcomes in some way. Learn from the lesson. πŸ™‚

I regularly learn (again, because, apparently, I forget?) how human I am, how fragile, how limited, how awkward, how fallible, how error prone… yep. All the things. So human. Being well-meaning? It’s not enough, far too often.

I’ve just finished the strangest weekend seminar in life’s university. lol There’s been coursework on Setting and Managing Expectations, Clear Communication of Boundaries, Building Healthy Relationships – that one was a pop quiz, and I’m pretty sure I flunked. I hope it gets graded on a curve. lol I think most of these are pretty essential life lessons (and skills), but I don’t think I’ll ever “master” any of them; there always seems to be one more opportunity to be more authentic, to speak more simply and clearly, to be more open, to be more compassionate, to show more respect, to be more considerate, to reciprocate more fully, to love more – and oh, my goodness, that one definitely matters most. Love more. Love first. Love a lot. There is so much to share with one another. We each have so much to give to the world.

…And…yes. There are mistakes to be made – because mistakes get made; we are human. We learn so much more from what went wrong than from what goes right. There are hurts that will be felt. There are needs that will go unmet. There are moments that will feel out of step. The wheel continues to turn. Speak up! Listen more. Really listen. No, seriously, shut up and really listen, mostΒ  especially if someone is saying they “don’t feel heard”. So much to learn to be skillfully human, to be beautifully, wonderfully, delightfully human, to be that human so profoundly content and emotionally well-developed that all the other humans rally around to bask in the warmth of comfort of that love… gotta have goals. I’ll keep studying. Keep practicing. Keep beginning again. πŸ™‚

 

I woke up angry this morning. I’m feeling pretty raw and bombarded by violent media imagery (recent school shooting, remember?), and omg, yet another round of craptacular memes masquerading as “truth” – that’s propaganda, folks. Memes aren’t cited, they aren’t fact-checked (and how would you know?), they aren’t held to any standard whatsoever of accuracy – do not get your fucking news (or your opinions, holy hell, seriously??) from god damned memes. lol Seriously. Read a fucking book. Read a bunch of books. Listen deeply, instead of waiting for your turn to talk.

Understand that your experience of life is not defining of life itself for all around you; they are also having their own experience.

It was my dreams. The world slid to shit and mayhem on the backs of pro and anti gun memes. lol It’s too much for me and I need a break. It’s literally a “problem” with a known and obvious solution (several of those) that we simply will not put in motion. It’s grim, terrifying, and fairly stupid of us as a society. Yep. Straight up saying it; we’re fucking dumb as dirt on the topic of firearms in America. I don’t need to say more than that; that is my opinion. Americans are not rational about firearms. Go ahead. Prove me wrong by being that rational American. Please. Definitely do that.

…And to the proud rebels out there concerned they may be unable to overthrow the government if they allow the government to take their guns, I have just one more thing to point out; that’s not how it’s done these days. Vote. Just fucking vote – and vote for people who will actually provide the nation with the legitimate necessary legislative support required, instead of a bunch of parasites making themselves wealthy on special interest handouts and stock tips. Maybe elect some folks who are not lawyers. Who are not rich. Who do not have a college education. Who are not white, not male. Not directly financially invested in the outcome of their decision-making. Damn. LOL How hard is that? Elect a government that looks like America – all of America. That’s how “representative” government works. Actually educate yourselves and learn to reason well and clearly, and have actual conversations about what you actually think, without relying on memes, labels, slogans, or name-calling. How many governments have been toppled in the past handful of decades without a citizen militia? More than one. Read a book.

Be kind to each other. It’s such a short mortal lifetime we live. There is no time for hate; it robs of us time we could spend enjoying love.

Begin again. (I sure need to…)

I woke feeling content and smiling, and even after I reached for the alarm to shut it off and felt the unexpected (expected) pain reminding me I am not 23 anymore (or 32, or 45…), I continued to smile. The morning has been easy on me so far. No Β dishes in the sink (thanks, me!). A clumsy moment sent my phone tumbling toward the toilet bowl, and in an instant of exquisite good fortune, it landed on the floor. Time feels neither stretched nor compressed, and the details of the day to come begin to assemble as an orderly thought, over my coffee.

My coffee tastes good, unusually so, and I find myself wondering if a “bad mood” can be enough to throw off flavors? Maybe this has occurred to me before, in some other moment of wonder. I am content to have the thought now, and to recognize that the sense of novelty is likely born of an injury determined to mislead me without intent. I often experience things as either quite familiar or quite new seemingly at random, and without any particular connection to whether they are new or familiar. Objects. Ideas. Faces. It can be inconvenient, to put it mildly. lol

Watching the rain fall.

This morning even my quirks of character and of mind do not distress me. I am even eager, strangely enough, to proceed with the work day. The weekend was lovely. I spent yesterday quite gently, tidying up and giving myself a manicure, reading, hanging out with friends, and watching rain showers sweep across the meadow and marsh beyond the patio door.

4 years ago, life didn’t feel like this. I smile contentedly; it is enough, this morning, to be grateful, to acknowledge change, and to move on with the morning. There have been a lot of verbs involved, and a lot of practices, and incremental changes over time (sometimes to subtle to account for in brief moments). This morning, this lovely gentle, simple, morning, it is enough to smile, and to begin again. πŸ™‚