Archives for posts with tag: what time is love?

I started the morning with a headache. I’m sure it will pass. My brain feels a little sluggish and foggy today; it was very late when I actually fell asleep, and I woke earnestly wanting the alarm to go off later…much later. I’m not bitching. I’m hopeful that at some point I will have that quality of deep sleep on a weekend morning that carries me on wings of pure restfulness until I wake, and finding myself so groggy right now manages to be a reminder that I am capable of deep sleep. My fingertips feel cold. This morning it reminds me that the temperature in my room is once again balanced for better sleep, and fairly chilly first thing when I get up as a result. I’m okay with that, too.

Headache and all, actually, today feels okay so far. I feel okay. The gray cloud of uneased loneliness seems to have lifted – and no surprise, I suppose, considering I spent a good many minutes after I retired last night crying; unreservedly and wholeheartedly grieving what may be lost along the way. Just that. To have some moment, some experience, of such sweetness and love – any such – and feel it slip away over time, or simply be…done…those are some very challenging experiences for me. I am still learning to accept some very basic truths about life – that lovely ‘this too shall pass’ aphorism cuts a very different way when considered in the context of some profoundly wonderful thing…and it’s no less true. Change is. I didn’t pass judgment on my sorrow, and I didn’t make excuses, or criticize my need to grieve life’s losses over time. I accepted in that moment that I was feeling profound sadness, and let that experience unfold. I cared for myself, and tended my injured heart, and I didn’t stuff my big emotions into a tiny box.

Just about the time my tears had dried, and I was meditating calmly and feeling accepting and content, my traveling partner checked in on me; it’s been a difficult bit of time, together, and he is more sensitive than most to the ebb and flow of my emotions, it can be hard to endure the intensity up close. We cuddled for a time, and I felt safe and secure nestled in his arms. I felt loved. It’s a powerful love that we share… It may not ‘be the same’ right now as it ‘once was’, but won’t that always be true, regardless? I live ‘now’…and ‘once was’ is not now, ever. It’s really that simple. This morning I woke feeling centered, and understanding more that there is so much to be enjoyed about right now… there are so many nuances to love and to loving… if things stayed the same, however good that might be, how much of what love has to offer would I miss out on?

I made some different choices to take care of me over the past few days, and they’ve been good choices, based on the outcome over time. Initial results don’t always seem so promising…but there again, maybe that’s because although change is, change is not always comfortable. I feel good today. I feel balanced. I feel the results of taking care of me….even grieving what isn’t can have some value, after all, it helped me get on through to what is.  In my own experience, being nearly always feels more fulfilling than yearning. I wasn’t helping myself out, being stuck and waiting for someone to help me out of the muck; I had my hands on a rope ladder of my own making, and all I needed to do was climb. There are verbs involved.

Today is a good day to take another step on this amazing journey. Today is a good day to remember that kindness begins with how I treat myself – and so do respect, consideration, compassion, and love. Today is a good day to remember the effect of incremental change over time, and to understand that however small one single step may seem to be as a singular experience, taken as a whole the journey goes many many miles, and every individual step is utterly necessary to complete it. Today is a good day to continue the journey.

One step at a time...

One step at a time…

Another new day begins, and as so many do, it begins well. My coffee is hot, tasty, and warming my hands between moments that require other purpose of them. Today I start the day without expectations, without clear needs to act upon, without urgency, a good beginning. I could say more… This morning I am not sure where the value in that lies, and I find myself filled with childlike eagerness, ready to eschew habit and practice in favor of scampering up to the glow of twinkly lights in the loft. The Holiday Loft. Home.

It was a very good weekend for love. My traveling partner and I connected closely and well, and enjoyed many hours of conversation and time together. It’s been lovely; I never get too much time in his very good company, and it is a rare moment that I wouldn’t prefer to be with him than apart. It’s not a clingy thing… We just like each other. 🙂 He is as much my friend as anything, and that is an exceptional foundation for love, as it turns out.  He is also someone who comes pretty close to ‘getting it’ with regard to my fondness for the winter holidays, and each year he finds some way to show that quality, unplanned, unscripted, and unexpected. He is the only partner I’ve had who ever embraced an opportunity to create that holiday magic for me, in a year it was doubtful we’d have the resources for any such thing. He knows things about love that most people only guess at.

I spent pleasant time in the company of another, too. Friends now, maybe at some point more… I like and value qualities he has, and so far he seems a worthy friend. I enjoy the way he enjoys me.  He delights in words – and I use a lot of them, it’s very promising.

My anxiety has been along for the ride all weekend; it comes and goes, and I endeavor to observe it without judgement and let it pass, content to be aware, and to recognize it is a feeling with many potential causes – including no obvious cause at all. I seemed to have reached a workable agreement with it; it will not linger and pester me, and I will not get involved with it more closely. lol  It’s enough, for now.

A pleasant enough start to the day, and to the week, and although I face the world with some reluctance this morning, it’s not because the world is so bad as much as because it is so nice right here.

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Today is a good day to enjoy a quiet morning. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to savor the pleasures we hold dear, and to invest great will, and effort, in what matters most. Today is a good day to change the world.

 

Are we all secretly counting on miracles to make things right? Are we all after some sort of patent nostrum, magic potion, or a pill to make everything better? It’d be damned convenient, wouldn’t it? I mean, compared to having to build skills, habits, work through baggage, be accountable, and make good choices… a pill seems much simpler.

I’ve tried the pills; they don’t work. Well, they work, if by ‘working’ we agree to mean ‘have an effect of some kind’ for ‘some people’. Sometimes the effect they have fits the loose definition of ‘working’. Pharmaceuticals didn’t work out for me, personally. They tended to be too much, or too little, or had other more pronounced effects that were uncomfortable, unacceptable, or needed medication of their own. Over time I ended up taking a lot of pills, and for a net effect in improvement so slight that I was little more than a poster child for giving the medical community ‘a chance’.  I still struggled. I still suffered. I still hurt. I had a level of emotional volatility that wasn’t comfortable for anyone who had to live with me, and threw tantrums rivaling the most highly irritable three-year old, and did so with a ferocity and frequency that raw honesty requires me to admit was abusive to live with. I wasn’t okay.

This past weekend was a walk down memory lane, and serves to highlight how generally good the past year has been. Practicing mindfulness, meditating regularly, and learning different skills to identify and communicate my emotional experience in an appropriate way has done far more than any pharmaceuticals ever did. Still. This is a journey – and I’m far from reaching my destination.

So… pills don’t work. How about those miracles? Well, frankly, after this morning, I’m wondering if I should sign on to the miracle side of the argument… I woke early, damned early, crying in my sleep. The hot flashes the last couple weeks have been… extraordinary.  Over and over again, I find myself drenched in sweat, and right on the edge of freaking out because I’m overcome by feeling ‘too hot’.  Beyond being socially a bit awkward to be dealing with it so openly, it’s just seriously uncomfortable.  Take something for it! Sure! Except that medical science lags so far behind the hopes, dreams, and needs of women that it is little more than comedic at this point (are scientists even trying?). I mean, seriously? ED drugs are widely available, but in spite of the pure misery of billions of women dealing with their hormones and the effect that has on their relationships, there’s not shit of any real effectiveness available to deal with symptoms of menopause. Nope, we can all collectively go fuck ourselves, science is content with ‘bitches are crazy’ and leave it at that. Sorry. I’m feeling a tad bitter about the state of medicine and womanhood just at the moment.

I got distracted… by hot flashes. Go figure. The hormone thing is pretty attention consuming, honestly.

So. How about those miracles? Yep. Sitting here this morning, finding a moment of comfort staring at my monitor in the dim light of early morning, just sitting.  Taking a few minutes to calm myself and shush the infernal demons that woke me ahead of schedule. Feeling very alone. Feeling incredibly insecure about the future. Feeling pretty sad and overwhelmed. Wondering what the hell I could possibly ever do to make it up to people who love me, then feeling mired in suppressed rage that being female should feel like something I need to make up for… it was a rough start to the morning.  There was a quiet scratching at the door; at 5 am we’re all pretty cautious about keeping things quiet; everyone in the household has their own sleep challenges, and we all know how much it matters to get the sleep we can.  A wakeful partner checking in, a quiet ‘how did you sleep’ and a follow-up ‘are you up?’ from me.  Ordinary love, aside from Love never being at all ordinary… he headed back to bed, hoping for more rest. I resigned myself to continuing to face my challenges until the time came to leave for work.  I was settling in to breathing, being, meditating… and he quietly returned, crossed the room, and just stood near enough to touch, his tenderness palpable.  He said “I feel so helpless to do anything to help you with the menopause thing.” Honest. True. Loving. He headed to bed, and now I am writing about miracles.

It was a simple enough miracle of love; I felt lonely, my love connected with me, intimately, gently, honestly.  I need that, more than a cure, and feeling it matters so much this morning.  My demons have no real defense against love.

Today is a good day to love.

What time is love?

What time is love?

No pictures, please.

It’s been a difficult weekend. Hormones, fatigue, poor choices, the consequences of broken routines, the inevitable truth that we are each having our own experience, and no doubt any number of small other circumstances distilled into a weekend wrought of pure misery.  I could go on at greater length, say more than that it mostly sucked, but it seems unnecessary, really; although we are each having our own experience, the experiences we are each having remain human experiences, and given a moment to do so, they are experiences to which any one of us can likely relate all too easily.

I brought souvenirs from Las Vegas: t-shirts, playing cards, anecdotes, and photographs.  I also brought less tangible souvenirs: exhaustion, frustration, physical discomfort, and PTSD teetering on the edge of emotional disaster. Life is like that, isn’t it? Things we see, things we miss. Things we accept, things we reject. Things we desire, things  we have. The destination, the journey itself.  So often, there is more than what is obvious, and being aware really matters.

I’ve brought souvenirs from life along with me, just as I did from Las Vegas.  I’ve brought a pretty vicious and chronic case of long-term frustrated anger with regards to how I perceive my place in the world in the context of the culture I live in, and how I have been treated, myself, as a woman.  I’ve also brought years of unresolved pain over trauma and abuse at the hands of people who claimed to love me. I’ve brought extra tickets on the ride to Hormone Hell.  I’ve brought nightmares, quite an assortment of them, and the tantrums and mood swings that sometimes complicate my life because emotionality is a common consequence of disturbed sleep.  How is it these are ‘souvenirs’ and not just my baggage? Well… if they were just my baggage, wouldn’t I just shut the fuck up about them, and get to unpacking the bags and putting shit away? I would think so… Instead, I find that I have no particularly successful methodology for that process, and a great deal of real talent at sharing the pain.

Souvenirs. I bring it. You endure it. For what it’s worth, I’m working on me with indescribable devotion, but nothing about that makes amends. Sometimes it is hard not to lose my way in the fog of fuck ups, discourtesies, moments of inconsiderate temper, misplaced hurt feelings, frustration, and failure upon failure upon failure to treat people (who matter) like they matter (because they do), including me.

Yesterday started well, ended calmly, but in between those two points… yeah. It wasn’t good. I woke this morning still feeling the sting of it, the sorrow welling up inside me, ready to spill over a new day. Then something went right. For the first time since I started having difficulties with my right knee, I was able to fold comfortably, gently, into the crossed-legged sitting position that feels best to me for meditation. First one breath, then another – not just relaxed, and not ‘doing‘ meditation – meditating.  I felt lighter.  Another breath. Thoughts were just thoughts again. Another breath. The future began to unfold less like a hinged box or difficult puzzle, and more like … spring.  Another breath.  Attachment to emotional outcomes fell away.  Another breath.  Calm. Just calm. Just being. No timer, no limits, no fear or doubt.  I felt centered. Safe.  I felt awake and aware of how far and how quickly I had drifted from my heart’s safest shore… and I held myself, my heart, within my own compassionate awareness for a time.

Hours later, I heard the household beginning to stir. A new day. A new experience. My skin shivered with the ripple of other emotions on the current of my sense of ‘home’.  I felt a moment of understanding, and acceptance; living with me has some very difficult moments. I took a moment to appreciate the will and love that must go into that commitment, and honored the effort my loves bring to our relationships and our life together. I sat down and finished the manuscript I’d been fussing over rather pointlessly for a few days (weeks?). It seemed the least I could do to treat myself well in the aftermath of so much hurting, to finish something I started to meet needs of my own, on time, and as a high priority for myself.  It feels good to have the moment, and take advantage of it.

Hell of a weekend… I’m not sure I’d call it ‘recovering from the trip to Las Vegas’ in any accurate way, but today, for now, I feel as if I am at least ‘recovering from tripping’. lol

Yesterday was a weird and difficult day that followed on the heels of a strangely drawn out night. Drama. Grief. Stress. Turmoil. Doubt. Anger. Pain. Hurt. Insecurity. Sorrow. Words. Moments.

Somewhere else, in the distance.

Somewhere near, in the distance. 3:00 a.m.

Sometime minutes after 3:00 a.m. I found myself walking (again), just trying to breathe. I’m nursing an injured knee; I didn’t care, or feel it. My arthritis is giving me major grief; I didn’t notice or attend to it. Life, in general, is quite good; I could not feel it or connect with what feels good in my experience. My PTSD was in the driver’s seat. I had been pwnd by the chaos and damage within. I walked until past 4:00 a.m.  I was up at 1:00 am, and I never slept again that night, until after dawn’s terse reminder that the day had begun in earnest, and even then the short disturbed hours of sleep I snatched from the day were dark and troubled and hardly worth the bother – certainly not ‘restful’.

I saw it coming early the evening before. That’s pretty new, but falling short of useful. I ‘fired a warning shot’ by verbally alerting my loved ones that I was at risk, but my effort was insufficient to halt the emotional freight train. In the moment, everyone having their own experience, each fully invested in their own needs-of-the-moment, my warning was both disregarded, and just not important to anyone but me. It was one of those “I hear you, but” moments. (Note to the reader, my own perspective built on experience, is that when someone I am in an emotional dialogue with says “I hear you, but…” they are not only not actively listening, they did not actually hear what they said they just heard, because the entirety of their focus is on what they are about to say.)

My OPD (Other People’s Drama) flared up ahead of my PTSD.  A wiser woman would have shaken her head in dismay, given hugs all around, perhaps said something wise about self-restraint, open dialogue, compassion, disappointment, and regrets – then walked the fuck away! I am not yet that wiser woman. I failed to take care of myself by making an attempt to ‘be in the moment’ to ‘be supportive’ to people who matter to me. It was a choice that resulted, for me, in a loss of emotional balance, the exhaustion of my own emotional reserves, disruption of good sleep practices, terrible nightmares, a lot of time spent soaking in powerful emotions like despair, sorrow, anger, resentment, fear… (and much, much more! Call now!)

When my symptoms did finally flare up beyond what I could manage through force of will, I was in familiar, bleak, territory. I walked. A lot. I cried. A lot. I shook quietly trying to force myself to go through the motions of simple conversations. I made notes on pieces of paper to remind myself to attend to simple tasks like brushing my hair, my teeth, showering…(I wrote the same reminders on my calendar, on my gadgets, devices, apps…but as is often the case, I avoided handling delicate devices (and power tools!) because my unsteady hands, and uncertain temperament, can be unexpectedly disabling.) Habits built over a life time to cope with the emotional wreckage. I went through the motions of every day things. Meals. Chores. Taking down holiday decor. I got through the day. Day became evening, and evening became night. I forced the shadow of myself through the motions of a mostly ordinary day hoping to avoid having the experience linger into the next and dropped into an exhausted surrendered sleep at a pretty routine time. It doesn’t always work, but I find myself more hopeful more often these days, open to successes, and less likely to count on failures.

Yesterday. Not pretty. Shall we move right along, then?

Here it is today. I woke at 6:00 a.m. drenched in sweat, but just hormones, not nightmares, and I felt rested and calm. When I realized I was awake, anxiety began to surge with memories of yesterday. Then I remembered; that was yesterday. Today is an entirely new experience. The feeling of relief that washed over me was motivation to rise and do my morning yoga sequence, and the stiffness and pain in my back eased as I moved through the poses. Each breath brought me closer to a real smile.  The anxiety receded. The new day begins.

I spent unmeasured time meditating after my yoga, before my coffee, and on the tail end of that I took a moment to focus my awareness on my loves, each as individuals, the beings they are rather than who I would like them to be.  I took a  moment to appreciate their best qualities, to feel fondness and gratitude for the joys we share, to feel compassion for their struggles with their own unique challenges as beings, as well as those challenges we share as humans and as lovers, a few moments to breath, to love, to recognize and be whole and well with myself as an individual being on my own terms.

Will today ‘be different’? How can it not? It’s a different day. Still, there are choices to be made – and some of them are mine, even when the struggle of the moment isn’t. Understanding there are choices to be made is a good step. Making better choices in the moment is an entirely other challenge of its own and one I expect to work on as a lifelong endeavor.

So…here it is a new day, and I’m starting it with a good night’s sleep behind me, a great coffee on the side table, a smile, and a few choice words. A nice start. I hope to make good choices today, that meet my needs over time. Today, I will spend the day building. Today, I will change the world.