Archives for posts with tag: perfectly imperfect

I’m sipping coffee and listening to videos in the background. Pleasant Sunday morning. Housekeeping on the agenda, not much else. I expect it’ll be a hot summer day. I’m okay with a couple hours of chores and a few moments for myself, and some pleasant hours with my Traveling Partner.

Our path may not always be level, the day may not always be sunny.

…Love isn’t “perfect”. Life either. Nothing really is. (Maybe this cup of coffee…) I make a lot of choices, and some of those are compromises, and some are just poor choices…on the other hand, I’ve got a lot of very cool opportunities to choose from, and fascinating people with whom I can choose to associate. Kinda neat, actually. Even our most intimate relationships are filled with choices.

We choose our path, and we choose what we consider our choices to be.

I chose my Traveling Partner a long time ago (11 years)… on a commute, I think. There was a hug involved. Hours of conversation, over time. A friendship developed. I adore this human being. He is “flawed” (inasmuch as he is quite human), as I am myself. There are days when one or the other of us seriously aggravates the other. (Just being real, and let’s be frank, one thing I know I can count on in life is that life will be, generally, quite “real”. lol) I enjoy him, as a friend, as a human being, as a partner… I smile when I think of him, and he is the person most easily able to unintentionally hurt me emotionally with a harsh word in a difficult moment. I still choose him, and yeah, even when I’m crying over a moment of hurt feelings, I still choose him.

He’s very dear to me. 😀 (bad pun intentional)

Why bring it up? It’s been a lovely weekend. This is all pretty obvious practical shit, right here, and hardly bears pointing out. Don’t we all go through it? Some moment that contrasts the wonderful qualities with the very human, sometimes much less wonderful qualities? Again – pretty real. Pretty ordinary. I dunno. I was thinking about it as I walked yesterday… “What matters most?”… “What builds a firm enduring foundation for love?”… “What does a healthy relationship look like, over time?”… “How does healthy boundary and expectation-setting look and feel in the context of a healthy adult relationship?”… “What part do I, myself, play in ensuring I am treated well based on my own understanding of “good treatment” – and how I do ensure I am skillfully, authentically, ensuring I treat my partner well based on their understanding of “good treatment” – and my own?” Big questions. (Long walk.)

Growth isn’t about what’s easy or comfortable. It’s often about hard questions, and answers that require rather a lot of real work. “Is the effort worth it?” is one question that is easy to answer, for me, in the context of this relationship: yes.

Sometimes choices seem so limited… or complicated… those perceptions are also choices.

I’ve had 3 other “long term relationships” of any notable duration. Two ran far longer than the quality of the relationship warranted. (Okay, well, all three of those, actually, were far longer than what was healthy, but I did manage to cut that last one short before my life or mental health were in complete chaos.) I’ve often been that person working at it longer/harder and loyally clinging to the carcass of a relationship that did not at all rate such a ferocious commitment in the first place. “I didn’t know better” doesn’t describe the goings on so much as “brain damage”, honestly. Yikes. That feels “too real”, right there. I sigh, finish my coffee, and let it go. 🙂 I’m rather happily in a very different place these days, different relationship altogether. “Learned my lesson”? Possibly not – more than I’ve been fortunate, and this particular relationship grew and developed largely in the context of ongoing therapy and other positive life choices (and changes) that took me down a healthier path.

Choices.

Don’t sit around miserable, is what I’m saying. You have choices. You don’t have to wait for decades of your life to slip by – you can choose change. Any time. You can begin again. Oh, I know, it’s a difficult sort of choice to make, but truly, it is yours.

Maybe what looks like a dead-end just isn’t your path at all?

It’s a lovely morning so far. My coffee is hot, and not at all bitter. My clothes feel comfortable and fit well. I woke lacking the usual headache, and my arthritis pain is well-managed and not troubling me. The day begins gently, and the day before ended gently, with love. Seems pretty perfect…

…I’m very groggy.

Perfectly imperfect...enjoying the moment that is, unconcerned about what isn't.

Perfectly imperfect…enjoying the moment that is, unconcerned about what isn’t.

I sit here with my tasty coffee, contemplating this lovely morning; it is ‘perfect’ without being unflawed. Quite a nice morning…I am, however, seriously struggling to really wake up. It’s not a bother today, but I can feel echoes of other mornings, when the frustration of not fully waking up as quickly as usual eventually drove sufficient irritability to throw a pleasant morning off course. This is not that sort of morning; it is ‘perfectly imperfect’ and I am content.

A picture perfect spring day. Who defines perfection?

A picture perfect spring day. Who defines perfection?

The ‘search for happiness’ has often seriously confounded my ability to actually experience happiness. I’ve found myself feeling happy, even for prolonged periods, most often when I wasn’t looking for it, wasn’t chasing it, instead investing my time and will into being and doing on other levels that result rather commonly in the experience of happiness. Like trying to watch the horizon at night, it seems to be most effective when I’m doing something else entirely.

There’s not much more to say this morning… It’s a lovely morning to experience the morning that is, and savor each sweet moment as-is, no demands, no criteria, no negotiation, no picking it apart to make more or less of it… just this timeless precious now, enjoyed exactly as it is.

It’s enough.

Today I’m feeling pretty low, waking with a vicious headache, and memories of last night. I don’t care for drama so exploring the details isn’t on the agenda today. Is it enough to say I’m human? That I have moments of self-doubt, moments when things that made so much sense some other day don’t make sense right now? Times of struggle and heartache? I am, after all, grieving… that colors life somewhat, doesn’t it? I’m asking because, at 51, sometimes I don’t feel like I know the answers to some of these questions.

...There's still sky overhead...and possibilities.

…There’s still sky overhead…and possibilities.

Lonely in a crowd? Yeah, this has some of that feel to it. Uncertain about the future? Yep, I’ve got that, too. I feel sad. I feel challenged by life’s curriculum in a similar way to what I imagine it might be like to wander into a college physics class at some tender age, without any academic preparation, and being told my grade depends on the day’s pop quiz. My partners are good people. This morning the tears on my face and the splitting headache I woke with go hand in hand with my doubt that I qualify to make that team.

Death sometimes has an unexpectedly insistent way of making us look closely at our own life. What do I want out of mine, truly? Where am I headed? What is the trajectory of my choices, and where are they taking me? Is this what I what? Is it what will best meet my needs over time? I don’t have good answers to these questions either, and I feel adrift. Oddly, this does not make me eager to see my therapist, instead, a profound urge to ‘leave it all behind’ builds, but I don’t know what I really mean by that. I’m too old to ‘run away from home’ and the sorts of baggage I have are neatly chained to me, going along for the journey everywhere I go.

Each day dawns, entirely new, filled with potential and choices.

Each day dawns, entirely new, filled with potential and choices.

This one’s difficult. My skilled brain tries to tell me I will be okay, that “this too shall pass”. Mindfulness… well… yeah. It’s getting to be easier and more habitual. Mindfulness in moments like these doesn’t often do much to ‘make it stop hurting’. Opening my own heart to this experience of hurting and making room for it, and being compassionate with myself are not the simplest of tasks – particularly after an evening of being castigated for imperfect execution of practices that serve me so well other times, other days. So, I sit here allowing the tears with a certain irritated resignation, and doing what I can to be kind to myself, and understand that it’s all a lot to take, and that being human is the nature of my experience. I focus on me, my experience, what I need from me to feel nurtured and supported. There’s that emotional self-sufficiency piece rearing its head again, too. Would I cry less if I met more of my own needs? Maybe tears are what I have to count on? Where is the line between working through grief and trauma appropriately to heal, and ‘being a victim’ – is that a matter of perspective? I feel like I was headed for summer vacation and the teacher just handed me Moby Dick, War and Peace, and Atlas Shrugged and said “see you in two weeks”. Being a student of life and love doesn’t really end with ‘graduation’ – there’s always more to learn. I kind of wish I weren’t a ‘C student’, though, this shit is hard.

So. Today I am alone. In a sense, I always am; we are each having our own experience. That can be a very lonely thing, sometimes. It is, right now.

I’ll spend the weekend out in the trees, in the stillness, breathing, safe, content; I may not ‘figure it all out’, but I’ll get a break from everything that hurts except the stuff I carry with me. That I just have to deal with. It’ll be a few days, maybe, before I write here again. I won’t have access to the internet – the trees don’t use Facebook, they simply stand in stillness, content. Or something poetic like that. Anyway. I guess I’ve ‘run out of words’ for now.

What is there to say about a sunrise? It is, in a sense, the only 'do over' we get; a new day.

What is there to say about a sunrise? It is, in a sense, the only ‘do over’ we get; a new day.

No affirmations, today, they would feel hollow to me this morning – and if nothing else, I am genuine. Today I hurt.