Archives for posts with tag: who do you love?

Have you ever noticed how time sort of “stands still” in those fully engaged intimate moments of connecting with another? I know, I know – those moments are so fleeting, so cherished, so hard to pin down, or duplicate later. I still find them “timeless”, at least in the moment.

That’s how it was last night. My Traveling Partner came over and hung out awhile, before he heads off for work elsewhere, far away. We talked rather seriously through the evening. The future is vast, and broad, and the choices on life’s menu seem to… breathe… expanding and contracting day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment, and I am having trouble choosing my adventure with any comfort or efficiency.

Sometimes life is uncomfortable – and inefficient.

We talked. We enjoyed a pleasant evening hanging out. No TV. No music. Just us two, talking about things to come, where we’re headed in life, what we each want – or need. As evenings go, it was intimate, nurturing, adult, romantic, supportive, practical, and connected. It met needs upon needs upon needs, no tears or tantrums required. No demands. No frustrations. Two people who love each other, loving each other. Sharing.

Sometimes it’s not about words.

We talked – and we also just chilled with each other, hanging out in my somewhat too warm apartment. He shopped and talked about things he needs in life. I went over recent changes in thinking, and discussed the profundity of change. We shared pictures. We shared anecdotes. We shared concerns. We shared hugs and kisses. The evening was quiet and relaxed. We’d thought about going out for a movie, we could have done it, we didn’t need to “do” so much as we needed to “be” – together. So we did that.

This morning I’m smiling. I slept more deeply, and woke feeling more rested, than I generally do. I grin at myself to notice the quality of my smile. I “hear” a Nicki Minaj track in my head, in the background, it’ll probably be there all day (or at least until a love song replaces it). ūüėÄ I find myself wondering about the connection between feeling so well-loved, and sleeping so well… Is that a thing?

Lovely moment. Lovely morning. Lovely day. Loving love… so… loving life, too. Funny how hard it was to find my way to this place. No idea how long it may last (it’s not really a helpful question). I let the cool morning air fill the apartment, sip my coffee, and smile. There’s nothing to add to this, really. Life is no less complicated, busy, or challenging, just because there is Love, but the love does seem to make all the rest less… troublesome. It’s enough.

Love is enough. Loving starts with me. Starts with the woman in the mirror and how I treat myself. What a strange puzzle. There are definitely verbs involved.

We become what we practice. ‚̧

If someone had asked me 5 years ago who my bestie is, I would have offered a name, maybe two. I would have made my choice from the few of my dearest friends of long-standing historical association that I recognize as ‘always being there’ for me, and figure that I had answered that question accurately. 3 or 4 years ago I would have answered that my traveling partner is my best friend, and even to this day those words feel ‘true’. If you asked me today my answer would be “me”, and sitting here in the cool stillness of a weekend morning, that feels very true indeed, although I have used a lot of verbs to get here from a very different place with myself on a journey that began not so very long ago.

The woman in the mirror and I have been through a lot together, and haven’t always treated each other well. I’ve found her actions (and her motives) suspect, more than once, and she hasn’t always ‘been there for me’, historically. We’ve worked hard for the past couple years to come to a better understanding, a ‘meeting of the minds’ that sweeps the chaos and damage aside, and it’s been worth it – because all my other friendships and associations have improved, where improvement has been an option. There is still free will to consider, and not all the choices to be made are mine. I’ve lost a couple of friends along the way, who did not find me suitable friend material as they got to know me through my growth and changes; I am not the person I once was, perhaps, or not the person they wish to know. I could take that all very personally – rejection does suck. It’s quite painfully, actually… but the woman in the mirror has a lot to offer me, and compromising that relationship is a ‘deal breaker’ in any other.

I spent yesterday wrapped in love. In the morning, I hung out with my new bestie Рthe woman in the mirror Рand took care of me by way of mindful service to home and hearth. I enjoyed the simple practices of household chores attentively, bringing additional order to corners of chaos, revisiting prior storage solutions along the way and improving on them, doing some aquatic gardening to keep the aquarium in its usual day-to-day state of loveliness. I have at long last learned that while it is wonderful when the outcome appears effortless, this is not to be confused with any actual lack of effort. There are verbs involved in living beautifully. It was a lovely morning that finished with yoga and a shower, and plenty of time for meditation and study before my other bestie joined me for the evening.

My traveling partner joined me for the evening. We had talked about setting up the big TV, even wall-mounting it; the age of the apartment building, and the construction quality caused a change of heart on wall-mounting anything seriously heavy on that wall. (Something so permanent will have to wait for a home that is truly my own, next year sometime.) We had also talked about doing some upgrades on my laptop; the SSD for that purpose arrived safely just the other day. My traveling partner¬†arrived and… we enjoyed the evening. That was what we did – enjoyed each other for a few hours. No work. No chores. No agenda. No planned activities. We did what I love to do with my traveling partner so very very much; we hung out, talked, and enjoyed the simplest of joys – the pleasure of each others company. It was quite delightful. It was…more than enough.¬†I am still smiling.

I could wax rhapsodic on the topic of love and loving, my traveling partner, and endless delightful minutes spent wrapped in love…but…you had to be there. I linger on the recollection long enough to stall my writing and distract me, and I am content with that and uncritical, but there’s nothing more to say about the evening that doesn’t stray into overshare, or to details more personal that I prefer to share in such a public forum, or… writing dialogue, which I’m not skilled at. It was a lovely evening, well-spent with my bestie, loved and loving. It would be misleading to say we got nothing done – we did the one thing that truly matters; we loved each other, sharing our experience for a time.

“Communion” 24″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas w/ceramic and glow 2011

Lovers come and go. In my own life, that’s been true of partners and spouses as well. Of my 4 significantly long-term relationships as an adult, 3 ended on such poor terms we do not speak (which makes sense since those relationships were characterized by chronic mistreatment of one sort or another, each contributing in some way to my¬†chaos and damage). I am inclined to recognize all three has having been abusive, and damaging. Of those three relationships now behind me, none¬†began as a friendship. My traveling partner, on the other hand, was a friend long before we became lovers. Many of my friendships are relationships that span decades – longer time periods than those ‘long-term’ relationships, by far. Some of my friends have been lovers along the way, without damaging the friendship we share. I have learned something about my romantic needs; I value the friendship, and having the foundation of future romances in a legitimate friendship with a firm foundation is a requirement these days. In principle, for me, meeting sexual and romantic needs has never required the ‘permanence’ of a long-term relationship, and I am not monogamous. In practice, over time it has become clear that monogamy is not the issue for me; I value, and need, a connection on a deeper level to enjoy everything I know sex can be, and those are the qualities¬†I crave most from sex (and love). Lust doesn’t build the kind of connection I yearn for – friendships do; there are no short cuts to emotional intimacy, even for a woman with a disinhibiting brain injury. I no longer bounce from bed to bed, or fill my nights with hook ups, as I did in my twenties and early thirties; these are not practices that meet my needs over time. I am also not looking for ‘the one’ – I found her in the mirror. She likes to spend time with her friends.

It is an interesting journey, this ‘life’ thing. ūüôā

Today I am enjoying my morning coffee with a smile, thinking of love, lovers, and good connections. Thinking of friends, old and new. This morning I will have brunch with one of my dearest friends of many years – a man of exceedingly gentle character who has known me since I was defending myself from the world by being permanently on the offense, emotional weapons of mass distraction set to kill, and existing as a land mine on the journey of other unwary travelers. He has seen more of my growth over time up close than most of my friends, and has been both encouraging and delighted to see me become kinder, compassionate, gentler with myself and others, and more aware as the years have passed. I am eager to hang out over a meal and share new growth – hell, I’m even learning to listen more than I talk, these days, and he may be able to get a word in edge-wise, himself. ūüėÄ

Today is a good day for brunch with a friend. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to hang out with the woman in the mirror – she’s a good sort, and she really cares about me. Today is a good day to treat¬†the world as well as I am learning to treat the woman in the mirror.

This morning, my coffee is tasty and hot, and I’m pleased with how lovely the espresso shots I pulled just happened to be; I am not a professional barista. I do my best, and even first thing in the morning I try to pull each shot mindfully, with great care, exactly as I have learned to do it. I enjoy the result.

This morning, the trickle of the aquarium in the background is soothing, and calls to mind little brooks and creeks. I enjoy some moments watching fish swim, and observing their awareness of their environment and each other. I contemplate free will, intention, consciousness, and wonder again what fish might ‘think about’.

Stormy weather.

Stormy weather.

I consider the day ahead, in the context of the day behind me. Yesterday went sideways in a most peculiar way, but very telling. It would be difficult to share much more about it without sharing too much, which quickly becomes both tedious, and riddled with rampant emotion of limited perspective. Let’s not do that. Let’s talk, instead, perhaps, about how much our values actually matter – to ourselves, to each other, to our relationships. Having a clear understanding of what we value, ourselves, is challenge enough; having an understanding of the values of others, enough to really ‘get them’, has so much to offer… and sometimes seems very hard to come by.

Can you answer this question: “What are your basic relationship values?” I answer it with my Big 5 (Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness). I have some important personal values, too, upon which I am attempting to build the life I want to live: Mindfulness, Perspective, and Sufficiency. That I know my values doesn’t ensure my choices are always based on such, and this is the nature of adult value decisions; we choose our values. The values of our childhood are instilled in us through education, example setting, and experience. Adulthood allows (requires?) us to re-examine them, and choose wisely based on what we have learned, values that represent the best of who we are. We have the opportunity to make those choices, make changes, and live well. We have other choices, too. The values we demonstrate, whatever values we say we hold, are the values we communicate to others through the power of our actions, as well as the clarity of our words.

I guess the test of success is ‘do your chosen values support the life you really want?’ As we are each having our own experience, the choices, and the evaluation, belong to us individually. In that legendary ‘perfect world’ so many laud and yearn for, our relationships are with others who share our values. We’re human beings. Each having our own experience, and making our own choices, and it is most assuredly not a perfect world. Still, we could do worse than choosing our relationships based on the values we truly hold.

Beyond the storm.

Beyond the storm.

Today is a good day for love, and for living my values. Today is a good day to make my best choices to meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to recognize that everyone makes their own choices, chooses their own path, and that the map and the journey are customized; we rarely see the world or our circumstances quite the way someone else does, however dear they may be. Today is a good day to respect the path someone else chooses to walk. Today is a good day to change the world.

It’s a lovely quiet morning in my corner of the world. I do mean ‘my corner’, too. I have no idea what is going on elsewhere at present, even within the confines of the house I live in. I am in this space, right here, right now, and no other. “Here” is okay. “Now” is actually quite pleasant, too. A couple of years ago, being here, now, quietly in this¬†space unconcerned about what is outside this space, or this moment, for at least a little while might have been quite difficult. It would be inaccurate to say “I haven’t got a care in the world”…but I also no longer carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Life and love are much easier when I am living my own life, in my own space, and just that. It feels, for the moment, ‘easy’.

The November elections are nearing. I don’t spend much time on political matters here¬†(or in general, from my own perspective, although it’s likely that people who end up inescapably cornered, having to listen to me discuss my perspective on this or that issue may disagree. lol) ¬†There are legions of writers who write about the politics of the world, people whose command of language makes them real leaders, and properly audible voices in the din; I have no need to compete with them in that arena. Still, elections are coming, and I do vote. I vote what matters most to me. I am annoyed by the game playing and underhanded machinations of the process, though. I want so much to be able to believe everyone running for office truly believes they have something to offer the people as a legislator, and the will and intent to improve the state of things for every day folks; I know it isn’t true, I can read, and I see the later decision-making and the outcomes of those who have been elected before. It’s quite disappointing how little gets done, or done well, and how little thought for real consequences seems to go into law making, generally. Funny primates, being fancy and trying to force everyone in the tribe to follow their ways. lol Fairly pointless, really, since ultimately we each make our own decisions, regardless, and can’t be forced with any ease to make the choices someone else wishes to see made. We are each having our own experience. We each act upon our own will.

I’m not especially easily led, although that probably isn’t obvious under some circumstances. I don’t alert people when I am simply choosing to relax and ‘go with it’ – and whether I do is largely dependent on some quiet internal cost/benefit risk/reward analysis that I am sure we all do to some degree, on some level. Sometimes I find it quite transparent and obvious to me, as I consider whether it is easier to go to X location for dinner because everyone else wants to – on a night when I genuinely don’t have a preference. I’m sure it gives the appearance that I am easily led, or influenced. (I’m actually fairly alert to being manipulated; it only takes on relationship wherein one is being systematically manipulated, controlled, or subject to gas-lighting to be ¬†a tad oversensitive to it coming up again.) lol I don’t see any reason to bring it up all the time, or to explain when I ‘go with the flow’ that I am doing it for X reason. Sometimes, sufficiency, contentment, and satisfaction with the state of things is reason enough to smile at the Universe and say “sure! let’s do that” at some point when I didn’t have something different/better in mind. I’m fairly willful, and definitely down with making a choice, taking action, or leading… I also like to reserve that effort for things that matter to me. I’m not particularly competitive; the stress and implied confrontation of competition doesn’t suit my easy nature. Frankly, aside from whatever biological needs that must be met for survival, which¬†could potentially require some level of competition, I’m not interested – I like cooperation far more. I prefer life’s games to be ones where everyone wins. lol

There’s no particular reason I am considering these things this morning. It’s a Thursday, and a rather nice one. I am content and calm, and enjoying the morning. It seems a nice morning to appreciate qualities about me that I favor, myself. ¬†How about you? How long has it been since you paused for a moment and gave thought to some characteristic about who you are that you really value? You certainly deserve that moment. We all do; there’s already a lot of people out there waiting to say something critical, negative, mean, or insensitive – I hope you take a moment to honor the qualities you value in yourself right now, and the work you have put in to get to this place, however far you may think you still have to go.

A favorite metaphor; a tree, and a path in the distance.

A favorite metaphor; a tree, and a path in the distance.

Funny how much difference one moment can make in the way my experience feels. I’m still working on making the most of some pretty vast raw materials; the artistic masterwork of a lifetime is the journey I take to become the woman I most want to be, exploring my experience, and taking this amazing journey of discovery as a being. I am still taken by surprise, sometimes, at how little it takes to change the tone of that experience, to color it, to shift it on the emotional spectrum one direction or another.

So much potential.

A new day holds so much potential.

Yesterday the tone of a reply to a practical question held the potential to be a powerful destructive force in my day. I dislike being dismissed, or disregarded – I suppose most people likely do. I found great satisfaction that the day didn’t go awry, and took time to be grateful for new practices making a difference. I took that approach every step of the way yesterday, refraining from taking things¬†personally – even when they appeared to be very personal indeed – because I was able to understand that the behaviors of others reflect their will (not mine), their values (not mine), and their choices (I make my own); I’m a bystander in their experience. Their pain is their own, as are their great joys. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

This morning, I woke early, feeling a bit off, my mind inclined to wander into anger or irritation although the day was so very new there was no cause for it. New practices for the win, this morning, too; I gently nudged my mood back toward joy and contentment with meditation, and just as I felt relaxed and content again, I was treated to cuddles and love. Cuddles and love are simply one utterly wonderful way to start a morning. Any morning.

A lovely autumn morning.

Mornings hold so much potential.

Now I’m just chilling, sipping my first espresso, and listening to the world wake up around me. The sound track of human experience. I’m also listening to a terribly cheesy love song in my head; sometimes love does that to me. Sometimes I just sing holiday carols. LOL (No foolin’, I do.)

This human thing isn’t always easy, or orderly, or pleasant, and the weirdest shit seems to go wrong at the strangest times. People matter. I’m including myself in that set these days, which is a very nourishing experience emotionally. I’m setting my own priorities, based on what I need, and what matters to me. It makes some of the everyday drama pretty inconsequential. That’s really the reason I don’t drill down into the details of everyday drama that comes up in my relationships. It’s less about privacy than priorities. Some of it would be fun reading, exciting fiction, pretty gripping – stuff we can all easily identify with, perhaps even a bit titillating sometimes…but it’s not a high priority for me. Those every day stresses between human primates in close quarters are not the focus of this journey, and honestly, we all have our daily grind, and my advice wouldn’t likely be particularly useful – it’s always a sort of ‘you had to be there’ moment, isn’t it? Love each other. That’s the important thing. Listen attentively, with your whole awareness. Be engaged and present. Be willing to be vulnerable and speak your mind – and your heart. Do no harm. Be kind while you are being honest. Let the small stuff go. Did I mention Love? Sometimes I find re-envisioning some challenging moment with someone dear to me animated as The Simpsons, or Archer, or South Park. It’s not so much the colorful figures; I also rewrite the script, and the plot, and try to be true to the tone of the show and characters. It relieves a lot of that sense of loss and chaos that sometimes goes hand in hand with small drama.

Like mushrooms; under the right conditions, all sorts of things come up.

Like mushrooms; under the right conditions, all sorts of things come up.

So, here it is another day in this human experience. I wonder what will come of it? Today is a good day to make good choices and express the best of who I am in every interaction. Today is a good day to love and be loved in return. Today is a good day to respond instead of react. Today is a good day to feel autumn breezes, and see smiles on the faces of children. Today is a good day to be open to new ideas and to take chances on trying new practices. Today is a good day to change; that’s how I change the world.