Archives for posts with tag: the elephant in the room

I don’t generally get so many opportunities to simply relax in the good company of my Traveling Partner. The opportunities we do get don’t always work out ideally well (both of us being quite human, and dealing both with our own “baggage” and our own issues with being in physical pain). It’s been an extraordinary holiday season, filled with connected hang out time, together, enjoying favored content from here and there, relaxing, playing games, making conversation about topics of mutual (or separate) interest, and because it isn’t reliably an everyday experience, I’ve embraced it without any guilt or reservations about how I am spending my time – even when doing so may subtly undermine long-standing practices that support emotional wellness (like meditating), or “press pause” on routines and practices that create the foundation of this life that has become commonly characterized by contentment. 🙂 So… without apology or excuse, I’m not writing as often, and I’m fully living in this moment much more, at least for the duration of the holiday season. It’s quite nice, and I am making a point to savor the opportunity, the experiences, and the moment-to-moment joy of being so well-loved, and having the chance to love so deeply, myself.

Today is a pleasant Saturday, in the middle of a long weekend (for me), planned well in advance as part of my holiday. My Traveling Partner and I are both in pain, today. It happens. No drama or bullshit associated with that; we’re both very much aware of each other’s physical limits and concerns, and we cherish each other’s efforts, and the shared will to explore joy in spite of pain. It is characteristic of this partnership that we do so, generally. Worth the effort (and yes, there is reliably effort involved).

Note to self: it’s worthwhile to make an effort at the things that you’ve determined matter most. Your results may vary, but the outcomes will prove to be reliably better than not making the effort. Sooner or later, effort goes into something – what better choice than to make that effort in support of the life you most want to live, the experiences you most want to have, or becoming the person you most want to be? Choices. (And verbs.)

I smile and think of cruise brochures, plans for our shared future, life right now, and all the things that have lead to this moment, here, which leads on to those moments as yet unexperienced. I think about potential life-style changes, wellness, and longevity. I pause a moment to celebrate this experience of being partnered with a human being I truly want to spend my life with.

The smallest tokens of lasting affection can feel huge.

Giftmas has come and gone. It was lovely. Warm. Joyful. Loving. A delightful holiday. Precious mementos will remind me for some time to come just how exceptional this holiday was. I hope never to forget any detail, but… “always” and “never” aren’t concepts I feel comfortable investing emotional energy in. lol I’m content to smile when I do remember, and let the warmth of being well-loved wash over me, in that moment of recollection. Good memories. 😀

I sit quietly for a moment. I breathe. Exhale. Relax. I feel the pain… here. Over here. That one, there, too. This newer one. This one that has lingered far too long. This one that is so well-understood. That one, that I just don’t understand. I let each one go; recognized, accepted, and where possible, attended to as skillfully as I am able to do. Another breath. Another exhalation. A sip of water. A correction in seated posture. Moments tick by.

“This, too, shall pass.” Even pain is mostly fairly temporary, inasmuch as it is not truly unfailingly continuous. It matters to savor those moments in which pain is lessened, or isn’t there at all; doing so reduces the likelihood of becoming mired in an implicit experience of “always” hurting. “Always” isn’t very common. Neither is “never”. I smile and let them both go. They’re often  just words for a more nuanced experience that takes ever so many more words to describe accurately. “Often” is useful, but less than satisfying when describing the experience of pain; I want the emphasis that is associated with “always”. So human.

…Being in pain is human, too. Way more people spend a lot of time in pain than people around them seem to recognize. Don’t be a dick to people; maybe they’re in pain. Maybe it would be more helpful to be kind, to listen deeply, and to refrain from taking people’s crossness or irritability at all personally? We are each having our own experience. 🙂

The new year (2020, in this case) is approaching quickly. Just days away, now. I’m eager to embrace a quiet holiday, filled with meditation, and forward-looking thoughts. A refresh of the budget seems in order. A new “map” of the future, too, perhaps? An update to my “life in weeks” chart, also; it’s been an eventful year. Perspective on it is worthwhile. It’s time to contemplate what to keep – and what to cast aside. Time to consider what matters most, and commit to the effort to bring more of that into my life, and to the effort to stay focused and purposeful, over time.

What about you? What matters most? Where are you headed in life? What will you choose to do about any of that? (So many choices!!)

…It’s already time to begin again. 😉

 

I’ll admit it; I’m easy.

Elephants are a favorite metaphor here...

Elephants are a favorite metaphor here…

Seriously, I am actually committed to gentle harmony among peers that allows jovial good-natured fun, shared humor, and fosters shared pleasures and nurtures personal growth. I dislike hostility. I especially dislike the sort of hostility between lovers that immediately results in all parties feeling like they are confronted by an adversary.  I don’t at all concede that passion must be paired with contention and anger, or that good conflict management within relationships must involve frustration and grief.  I admit that my feelings on this topic may rise to the level of a ‘religious conviction’ in the sense that I am unwilling to be swayed to another point of view, and feel quite convinced I am ‘right’.  It sounds like an awesome environment to build between lovers, and consistent with my ‘Big 5’ relationship values: respect, reciprocity, consideration, compassion, and openness.  If those 5 characteristics define a romantic relationship, it seems unlikely that the participants would feel ‘adversarial’ or ‘hostile’ toward each other, even when they disagreed. Sounds like a good goal, if nothing else.

There’s another side to “I’m easy”… it has regularly stopped me from taking care of me.  I’ve often chosen to compromise beyond my values, my boundaries, or my limitations, to achieve harmony with a lover or partner. Or said “I’m fine” or “nothing’s wrong” or “I’d love to…” choosing to be ingenuine or evasive for the sake of keeping peace, rather than connecting more intimately by being who I am in a frank and compassionate way. Hell, I’ve even gone years without listening to even one piece of music I really loved, rather than fuss over it with a partner who found my taste in music unpleasant. lol.   That’s probably OK, now and then, but I’m beginning to recognize that as a pattern of behavior, as a methodology, or a routine practice, it results in resentment over time, because my own needs don’t get met, or because I perceive a lack of reciprocity in the relationship when others are unwilling to similarly compromise beyond their values, boundaries, or limitations. Seeing it in print underscores what I have begun to understand – that resentment directed outward toward partners or lovers when I over-compromise isn’t appropriate, however unhappy I may become.  The better result is to be had by understanding my own needs, boundaries, values, limitations and then communicating them explicitly, setting reasonable expectations, and being willing to ‘take care of me’ – honoring those values, and myself, rather than tossing myself onto a sacrificial fire. (Seems a pretty simple idea now…it didn’t until recently; if I am being overly obvious, I laud your wisdom!)

A vessel of great beauty and value  is best handled with care, cherished, and filled with great love.

A vessel of great beauty and value is best handled with care, cherished, and filled with great love.

I’m getting better at taking care of me. I’m getting better at stating boundaries, and recognizing my limitations. I’m still easy…I still want harmony in my relationships.  My Big 5 make sense to me, for my relationships, to meet my own needs in my living environment.  It is a little scary for me to understand that taken together, these understandings lead gently to acceptance that some of my relationships in life didn’t ‘make the cut’ …that some of them likely never could have… and that some of them, in the future, may not meet my needs over time.  As with a precious porcelain cup, I really can’t afford to be careless about what relationships I fill my life with.

I’m easy. I admit it. I am also living more mindfully, and embracing a genuine experience with who I am. Changes are scary… I would love my heart to float like dandelion fluff across the tops of life’s challenges, as if challenges were meadow flowers – my heart untouched by hurts, my challenges bending to my will like flowers in the breeze… but I don’t have that strength of will, or that certainty of what is and what is not… Aristotle lost my attention when I discovered S. I. Hayakawa and R.A. Wilson, and the world is too rich and wonderful to divide neatly into is/is not; there are some damned ‘maybes’.  🙂

For now, ‘easy’ is observing, accepting, experiencing, and waiting for events to unfold as they will. I can’t force the world, or love, to be what I want, I can only enjoy what it is, and be who I am… hopefully becoming, over time, the woman I most want to be, embraced in love by the lovers I cherish most beyond all other beings, with values I respect, who treat me well, and a lifetime ahead of us to share who we are.

Another sunny day in my garden…