Archives for posts with tag: treating each other well

Too many holiday reports of violence against family members, loved ones, children, partners… fucking hell, where did people ever get the notion that it is acceptable to act with violence upon those that are dear to them?? It sickens me.

…I’ve been angry, even enraged, even felt “righteously” so, such that my own actions seemed to me to be both inevitable & necessary, and also wholly justified (which did not and does not make it true, ever). I also managed not to kill anyone. Just saying. Don’t kill people. Don’t even raise your hand against them in anger.

Notice I haven’t said anything about men killing women, women killing men, etc; violence is not a gendered issue. You can say what you’d like about who kills more of whom, but the simplest of truths is that the life of another human being is not yours to take. Doesn’t matter what your gender is. I don’t seem room to argue with that axiom, myself, and I embrace it. (Don’t talk to me about war, or military force, or the justification for violence under some conditions – unless you, yourself, have been both soldier delivering that military force, and also a civilian experiencing having that force delivered upon you, please; without both perspectives what do you even “know”?)

I’m fairly over violence, generally. I respond poorly even to milder forms of emotional violence (raised voices, a nasty tone, guilt trips, manipulation), particularly after living without it for a while. I don’t mean to say I “never” raise my voice – I sincerely attempt to avoid doing so, and feel incredibly disappointed in myself when I fail to control my volume and my tone adequately well. There’s work involved. It’s work I find worth doing, so I keep at it.

…Then I read another news story that fills me with real horror; an angry parent kills their kids, takes their own life, in the midst of a messy angry divorce, or a partner slays their mate, or someone kills a parent… horrifying. What gave any of them the sense that this was an acceptable choice? How was this okay to do? Why haven’t we “made it stop”?

I sigh. Sip my coffee with a feeling of sadness for a moment. A pause to honor lives lost to the shittiest of excuses; anger. So not okay. There have already been dozens of lives lost in 2021, to familial violence, partner violence, and hate crimes. It’s the fucking 3rd of January. Maybe 2021 can be a year we finally get a grip on our anger and do better – as a species? As a planet? As a global community? Yes, I’d love to see humanity put the brakes on warfare, but more than that? I’d very much love to see humanity stop killing those most dear. I mean, seriously? It seems like a pretty obvious improvement, generally.

We’ll need to begin again, particularly if we hope to change the world…

It’s true. I’m sipping my morning coffee, half-wondering if I need to adjust my process, or choose different beans…and gently discouraging myself from eagerly planning to move. I consider the move, I’ve organized my thoughts on it, and made some decisions about how it can best be handled – all in the abstract, aside from some exterior photos of the new unit, and a carefully examination of the floor plan. What I haven’t done is get a lot of boxes, and start filling those with books, small items, etc – I could be pre-packing, and I’m not. Not yet.

I’ve no doubt that I will make this move… except for just one small but important detail; price. The unit will be repriced after the remodel is entirely completed. If I can’t afford the price, I won’t be moving – at least not as soon. I’ve come so far with my traveling partner’s guidance, support, and skilled coaching, I will likely be buying a little place of my own within the next two years regardless; the comfortable near-certainty and lack of insecurity about the possibility feels very good. Stable. I have choices and, since choices to be made in the future are not ideally acted upon today, I chill and smile about the possible new apartment without taking further action in this moment. I continue to sip my coffee and let the morning unfold around my thoughts.

52 is late in the game to be buying a first home…and this won’t be my first. It will be my first unencumbered by domestic violence though, which is pretty huge… and it’s going to be the first that I’ll be wise to consider with retirement specifically in mind – I’d like to retire before I am 65, and the home I buy may be the last home I buy, when the time comes.  I want a place that is mine – that I can redecorate or rebuild, as suits me. A home in which replacing the carpets or flooring is entirely up to me, and in which I can freely replace all the light fixtures with whatever I choose without asking anyone at all, would be very nice. Comfort doesn’t have to be expensive, neither does luxury, but too often I find that I can’t ‘get permission’ for small changes that would be so wonderful while living in a rental, or as a housemate. Besides all that, I earnestly want to be able to leave this world knowing, when the time comes, that the choices I have made in life benefit my loves after my departure! I would feel considerable joy knowing that my traveling partner, although grieving, would be grieving his loss from a secure home, his home – unconcerned about going without and able to focus on healing his heart. “Feeling homeless” or displaced is something both he and I have endured far too often in life, already.

Be love.

Be love.

That gets me thinking about feeling secure in life – and in love – and how often people allow anger to cause them to say things to each other that specifically and directly undercut the emotional security of those they claim they love most. “I hate you!” “Get out!” “Why don’t you just go?!” “I don’t want you here!” I hope I live the entire remainder of my life not ever saying something so horrible and distancing to someone I love. How brutally unkind, how lacking in any compassion, how… mean, simply and frankly mean, to say such things to a loved one. How do you justify it (if you have said or done such things)? Isn’t the better choice to make note of our own suffering, and take care of ourselves before we lash out with pure uncensored nastiness toward someone we’ve claimed we love? Seriously? When I see that kind of thing unfolding, I nearly always find myself also wondering “How is it anyone sees this as being ‘love’ at all?”

One great relationship best practice I follow these days is; I don’t threaten the emotional security of my loved ones by withholding affecting, or being mean, when I am angry. I make the effort to replace emotional attacks with authenticity, vulnerability, and listening deeply. Just that. Surely if I love the person I am angry with, the better choice (versus attacking them) is to take care of my own emotional needs (put my own oxygen mask on first) – which really doesn’t leave time for attacking people – and then reaching out to my hurting loved one, connecting, talking, and reaching a comfortable mutual understanding – ideally with all hurts soothed, and the wreckage tidied up with hugs, kisses, and real affection, and because we started with love, why would we end anywhere else? 🙂 There are, of course, verbs involved, and The Big 5 (Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness) make an important appearance, too.

Treating our loves truly well requires awareness, the choice moment to moment to do so, and practice.  It also requires the basic assumption that our loves mean us no harm, hold us in high esteem, want the best for us in life, and are most specifically and earnestly not “trying to start shit”*. That by itself is pretty huge; if you go around all the time assuming your loved ones have it in for you, aren’t playing fair, don’t look out for your needs, don’t have you in mind at all… well… I gotta wonder first why you think that person loves you if those things are true – and if they aren’t true (or you haven’t made any effort to verify your suspicions clear-headedly in a fact-based way in the first place)… um… wtf is your problem? How do you call those feelings love, yourself? What is it, exactly, that you think love offers you? It definitely took me a while to sort that one out for myself. 🙂



My thoughts wind around slowly to values and value statements, generally. I find myself chuckling about the ‘company values’ at work; some of them are two or three sentences and include contradictory statements. I generally find that a ‘value’ can be stated quite simply, and most commonly with a single word. If it takes a sentence – or more – to state a value, it tends to communicate [to me] that the value being expressed is not well understood by the individual making the statement. Sometimes value statements are deliberately unclear, in some cases because the value is being hidden rather than expressed directly. The nature of values – and value statements – became much more important to me when I began, rather late in life, to re-explore my own values explicitly. My ‘Big 5‘ developed out of those conversations with myself.

The power of mindfulness practices to spark honest self-reflection and support self-awareness, as well as awareness generally, has been an important source of personal growth, and necessary for developing a sustainable condition of day-to-day contentment and joy (without needing to aspire to be anything other than entirely human). I don’t really need to count down the days until I move – I will or I won’t, and in time I’ll know which, and that will be plenty soon enough to start a countdown. I don’t really need to count down the days since the last time I hung out with my traveling partner – I’ll see him again, soon enough, and each visit is a lifetime of its own to be cherished, savored, and enjoyed, no counting or score-keeping required. There is so much less sensation of rushing, being rushed, urgency or panic these days. It is enough to enjoy the journey as it is. 🙂

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.



*It should go without saying that if you mean someone ill, willfully treat them poorly, want them to suffer, and are regularly actually trying to provoke them into anger, fear, jealously or sorrow, you really seriously honestly just do not get to say you “love” that person – because love doesn’t behave that way. I can at least hope anyone treated thusly will have or gain the wisdom to understand they are not being loved!


Every long journey ideally has an occasional rest stop along the way, or a place to pause, pull off the road, get some rest, or some refreshment. Why would a spiritual journey, or a journey of self-discovery or healing be any different? Moving through life at break-neck speed is not only rushed, pressured, and full of momentum that robs one of detailed observation; it’s exhausting. I still approach my experience, some days, with a sense of urgency – as if, perhaps, I am too late to find my way out of the darkness, or perhaps if I don’t move quickly enough to change, or find a better way to treat myself well, and enjoy my experience, the clock will run out with the work left undone. That’s a lot of pressure.

When I move through my experience at a speed dictated by pressure, I get all tangled up.

When I move through my experience at a speed dictated by pressure, I get all tangled up.

A series of recent experiences, moments, and observations find me, this morning, feeling a bit as if I pulled off the freeway to rest for a moment. The morning is calm and quiet, but beyond that, beneath the calm surface of this morning’s gentle thoughts and acceptance of the moment, is a similar deeper calm and contentment within my heart, as though the very framework of how I experience myself and my life are somehow altered from some other prior observation of them. It’s not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it is exquisitely not related to value judgments at all. I feel present, alert, content. I feel aware and calm and strong. It’s a pleasant morning.

Last evening was its own experience...

Last evening was its own experience…

Last night wasn’t about me. There isn’t more to say about it than that; I was more passenger on that journey, than driver, and I wasn’t even the passenger in the front seat. There is no criticism in those observations, and no yearning that things be different. I am not alone in the universe, and each of us having our own experience definitely means that many many experiences are not even a little bit ‘about me’.  I found it a worthwhile experience to share, to participate in, to observe; I definitely value the lesson in perspective.

Somewhen recently, very recently, I found a sense of inner strength that feels like I had simply misplaced it along life’s longer journey; a strength that has been with me all along, that I count on so utterly it functions entirely outside my awareness, generally. I’m glad I spotted it in the wreckage and dusted it off. I love this piece of me. These past couple days I have been exploring this sense of comfortable experienced womanhood and wisdom gained over time. That doesn’t sound at all humble, and if reflecting on my strength makes you feel  uncomfortable, I understand – me, too. Still, here I am, and I am okay with this moment in time, this point in my experience, this unhurried complex nexus of will and experiences that is some part of what is really ‘me’. It’s certainly worth spending some time getting to know me, yet again.


Today is a good day to explore the outcome of change over time, and take a step back from the details and enjoy the experience at leisure. Today is a good day to take a break from the work of becoming, and enjoy being. Today is a good day to love. Today is a good day to embrace the change we’d like to see in the world with enthusiasm, and will, and unhurried desire.