Category Archives: Personal Growth

“Give Me Free”

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There’s something magical about releasing oneself from the predictable, “safe”, and usual into the ambiguity, excitement, and risk of freedom.  I only know this because I’m exposing myself to this freedom more and more every day.  For us who have rarely, if ever, launched out into freedom’s waters it’s like riding a rollercoaster…we “oooo” and “aaaaahh” and wonder what it will feel like to take the riveting twists and turns because it looks so exciting from the “safe place”.  We might even convince ourselves to wait in the line and step onto the ride.  Get excited about the slow and steady ascent into “God only knows”…ooooonly to find ourselves wondering what the HEYULL we were thinking, once our neck snaps back at the first unanticipated turn of events on this new adventure.  Others, who are accustomed to and prepared for the sneaky twists, laugh at us and shake their heads because they’ve learned that freedom really means piloting their own course, while understanding that there will still be turbulence but they are fully confident that they will also reach their intended destination safely.

Nevertheless, ask any right-minded prisoner which they would choose, and s/he will tell you that freedom is the obvious choice all day long.  Yeah, “knowing” that 3 meals a day will be served, living indoors and being protected from the elements, with a regimented schedule has its own comforts because no thought or planning is required and the end of each day is pretty much known.  But the freedom to create a new outcome every single day, with myriad possibilities of life and living is a luxury worth the premium price of a little anxiety and a few “unknowns” which are bound to come.

So how does one create this freedom (because we CAN “create” freedom, from wherever we are)?  I guess it’s different for each person, but for me the first step is to release myself from the box of people’s perceptions of who I am and/or should be…even my own.  And, don’t get me wrong, this is much easier said than done…or so it feels.  It’s easy to flippantly say “I don’t give a f*ck about what people think”…but quite another to actually face a person or situation in this new space who “knew me when” that wasn’t the case.

Owning my freedom is about more than having a new mantra or slogan, but about actually owning ME.  This includes all that I am, as well as all that I am not…for better or for worse.  It is literally entering into covenant with myself to love, honor, and trust…MYSELF.  And not turning my back on myself and what is true for me and wherever I am on my journey, because someone that I esteem(ed) in a certain way viewed me in a different light and so I attempt to keep up that image rather than bear the nakedness of my truth.

Because my life started in such a tumultuous manner, and I experienced so many tragedies I learned to actually seek out hope.  I can find possibility and “dawn” in even the darkest of dark nights.  I became adept at this because it just didn’t make sense to be consumed by the darkness…although I almost gave in a couple of times.  But picking up this trait in this manner also came with the handicap of not being able to (or probably just not wanting to) face reality for what it is.  It comes at the cost of having the tendency to sweep major and glaring issues under the bed and just put a nice quilt over it, and hope that nothing that was swept under there was still living (and growing and festering, just waiting to slither its way back out).  This meant living in fear or being “found out” or uncovered, unraveled, and undone.

But there is freedom in truth…no matter how “ugly” it may be.  There is liberty in being honest about my fears and insecurities.  Understanding is no longer held hostage once the facade is released and the true reality is revealed for what it is.  Is it convenient?  Never.  Does it sometimes stink?  Depends on how long it’s been smoldering.  When things have been kept wrapped up for decades, they tend to be pretty fucked up when they’re uncovered…but that’s the only way healing can come.  Keeping things covered up only lends itself to infection and death, because no treatment can reach it.  The fresh air of new perspective can only come and hit it once the bandages of despondency and shame are ripped off.  Yes, it hurts but it’s only temporary.  And I’m DAILY talking myself out of covering it back up and slipping back into a cozy emotional coma.  Because although it doesn’t “have” to take forever, I’m learning that healing from trauma is a maintenance program rather than one-time purchase and one that requires patience and damn near supernatural grace.

I’m also finding that this ownership comes in waves, stages, rounds, and levels.  I kinda liken it to receiving an inheritance.  It would be easy to “blow it”, by not knowing what to do with it coming all at once…especially without already being accustomed to the freedom.  But mine seems to be on a time-released schedule.  As I’m digesting and processing more of who I am, more understanding comes and I’m better able to make decisions regarding who and how I choose to be.  I believe that the core of me is untouchable, and my raw and essential self flavors and colors all that I’m creating.  I’ve sensed this from a very young age.  But my palate hasn’t quite matured  or acquainted itself enough to handle all of my own true divinity.  But I’m getting there…


Hard Decisions

These are the ones we usually put off the longest and deliberate the most.  We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or piss anyone off.  We don’t want to rock the boat or cause angst or friction.  In the short run, it seems much simpler to just allow things to continue as they have been and hope that whatever is causing US the inner angst or friction will just somehow miraculously subside or blow over.  But the familiar question then is… “How’s that working for you?”

 
Many times, we’re put in uncomfortable positions which merit some type of deliberate or thoughtful action because such action is needed to keep from perpetually finding ourselves from being put in those positions. Yeah, I know that sounded like one big circle but that’s because that’s exactly what it is.    The cycle continues to make its turns around irritation, frustration, discontent, anger–all of which are “bad” emotions and we’re told to “walk it off” and let ourselves cool down before saying or doing anything that we’ll later regret…only to later TRULY realize that the we’ve already done the thing that  we regret most: nothing.  We’ve put our heads in the sand once again, to let ourselves “cool off”…and when we finally figure out how to articulate in a less passionate manner, it feels inappropriate to bring up such an old matter that doesn’t even seem relevant anymore.  Until it happens again…and it ALWAYS does.  Only this time, it may be in a different scenario with different parties involved so we’re starting all over again.
 
For the most part, our western society has been programmed to believe that being polite and gentle is better than authentically expressing disapproval or disagreement.  It paints those who dare to speak to or about an injustice or wrongdoing as troublemakers and confrontational or even combative and inappropriate.  This applies to relationships across the board–on the job, in our communities, and at home.  And then we wonder why there are so many misunderstandings or continued infractions against one another.  When it all points to one of two “most likely” culprits: 1) the inability or refusal to shut up and really listen without assumption, or 2) not actually voicing or expressing a concern in the first place.
 
Now I’m not suggesting that everybody just “go off” and say anything and everything that comes to mind.  But I am suggesting that it’s important that we are honest in our own assessments of situations and learn to go to the appropriate person and call a spade a spade.  [Keep in mind the word “assessment” and that it’s not the same as “assumption”.  AND the element of going to the appropriate person. (Bitching about something to someone who has NOTHING to do with your concern is just that…bitching.  Nothing gets resolved, and it’s easy to cower there under the illusion of having “gotten it out”.)]  But when we can reasonably draw a conclusion, that’s the best time to act on what we know.  Because the longer we deliberate after that conclusion has been drawn, the more OUR motives and intentions are subject to being questioned.
 
Is it easy to do this?  Depends on how much practice we’ve had.  If you’re a person who rarely holds your tongue, people have probably grown immune to your yapping and don’t really hear you.  If you’re a person who takes a mousy approach, YOU don’t even appear to believe you so why would anyone else listen?  Balance–no, ACCURACY is key.  Yapping about what “might” have happened, or “should” have happened, or “needs to” happen with no evidence of imminent harm is just as ineffective as taking the “it’s okay, but maybe…” approach.  Can you imagine if “those unruly slaves” such as Harriet Tubman had just done what they were told and kept their head down and kept quiet?  It was said that she packed heat and threatened other slaves who wanted to change their minds and turn around and go back.  Kinda reminds me of the airplane scene in Jerry Maguire when Cuba Gooding, Jr’s character declared to the movie’s name sake that even if he had to “ride [his] ass like Zoro”, he was gonna “show [him] the money”.  In other words, there was no turning back.
 
Oftentimes these moments of truth present themselves to us, giving us an opportunity to step up or get beat back into the submission of a status quo which has persisted for far too long.  And no it doesn’t have to have gone on for years or generations…  How long do we have to have an infection before we go to the doctor to get it treated?  As soon as we’re aware of the symptoms, right?  Similarly, when we can identify the cause of unrest or frustration, THEN is the time to address it.  The symptoms show up to help us identify that a larger or more pressing matter exists, much like the siren on an emergency vehicle sounds to let us know that it’s approaching and we need to respond appropriately.
 
And as liberating as this may sound, it’s important to recognize that liberty comes at a cost.  Remember, as a society that generally rebukes complaining, not everyone will support such expression.  In fact, many will be offended or become personally defensive…especially if the matter involves them.  But I maintain that the more accurate the confrontation, the more readily it will be received.  [Also note that “confrontation” does NOT have to be combative, accusatory, or offensive.  Accuracy and truth in delivery is most vital, rather than dramatic inflation of facts, or language which doesn’t leave room for the other person to actually dialogue.]  When going for effectiveness, the ego (which pretty much insists that the other person know just HOW wrong they are/were) needs to be checked…but not your backbone.  It is entirely possible for a hard message to be delivered without belittling or berating the person being confronted; however, depending on how hard that truth is, they may still be offended…and that is not your issue.  When such a message is delivered from a pure place of genuineness and authenticity, there is no need to “feel bad” about how they choose to receive the message.  
 
Nevertheless, the opportunities will be presented to make a decision.  And there are no guaranteed outcomes, but the one thing that is guaranteed is that we will face that challenge again if we don’t adequately manage it the first time.  Are you ready to step up, or will you risk being shot in the back as you run from it…?

The Miracle of Love

I feel like I need to preface this post with a warning:  I am highly wired and have lots of rogue and non-funneled thoughts competing for expression right now.  So I’ll write as coherently as I can right now, but I make no guarantees of fluidity OR that where this post ends up will have ANYTHING to do with where it starts.  Just go with me as far as you can, and if I lose you just meet me back at Walmart (you know they have everything there) and we can compare notes.

February is one of the most inspirational months for me…and confusing.  Single or “boo’d up” you don’t know whether to create expectations and be hopeful, or to err on the side of caution and pretend not to care whether you are or become the center of a private affection festival.  [Personally, I prefer to treat every day as something special, because this way, whatever happens or doesn’t happen on the national day to recognize loved ones is neither here nor there and only complements what’s already a normal and natural occurrence. BUT I digress…]  All the external presentations are okay, but what is most inspiring about this month is similar to what is contagiously inspiring in December.  It’s a reiteration of the idea that anything is possible.  The possibility that at least one significant dream “just might” come true…or that I’ll at least be able to get a whiff or glimpse of it, even if it’s in the distance.  I can hold onto the notion that “something” magical is in the air and that good things will come.  And no matter what, I hold onto this notion in Love.

Although, there is one subnotion (Oh yeah…I make up words.  Don’t judge me; think of it as a riddle that you get to figure out) that has recently caused me angst…and it is that of marriage and choosing (and being chosen as) a lifelong partner.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am in love with Love and all the incredible things that I believe it fortifies one to be able to do.  Aside from the frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and occasional discomfort of loving another fallible human being, I honestly believe that those who wisely choose partners who match and/or expand their own realizations of life and the Universe have an advantage in life that cannot be bought or taught.  Something about having another kindred soul to connect and partner with gives us a certain protective shield and/or a cozy place to land when trials come.  There is an invincibility that we acquire when we know beyond all shadow of doubt that our kindred partner is covering us with their encouragement, support, laughter, compassion, accountability, understanding, and forgiveness.  It is a superpower, and available in abundance, but with relationship statistics being what they are it would appear that only a relatively few people “get it right”…which leads me to my angst.

As much as I TRULY believe in the core of my being that lasting and genuine Love is possible, I wonder and fantasize about the choosing part.  I don’t know that I subscribe to the idea of “the one”, because I believe that we are all the same energy…but depending on our experiences, environmental programming, what has taken hold and affixed itself to our Truth that may be obscuring the view or understanding of that Truth, we are experiencing ourselves as we TRULY are in varying degrees of accuracy.  As such, we tend to find ourselves attracted to partners who match our own understanding and perception of who we are as energy.  Whether that energy expresses itself the same way that we have chosen is something completely different; and actually many times we are more fascinated by expressions that are different than we are because it adds variety and intrigue to our experience.  (Uh-oh…I can “hear” your face, but stay with me!)  Nevertheless, amid a world so full of illusion, there is something mysterious and magical about the process of choosing a mate.  It seems to be as miraculous as creating human life.

Think about it.  In order for a baby to be born, there are a number of small miracles (an oxymoron indeed) that have to take place; from the millions of sperm that have to fight to the literal death in order for “the one” to plow its way through the ovum’s membrane just to BEGIN to work on multiplying itself, remembering to grow all body parts, while keeping other traits embedded that will develop at the proper time.  This includes traits that will allow the baby to endure its violent and traumatic delivery (no matter how serene the environment, there is still blood shed) and squeeze through that narrow ass gateway into this period of eternity, to do what exactly…?  Trust that who s/he is being born to will be as trusting and humble as they are in learning how to create the best environment to sustain and optimize the unique presentation of energy that they are.  Thus the term “miracle of life”.  And I maintain that the same holds true for choosing a life partner.

Removing the element of eras (and the couple billion years that life has existed on earth), just consider the billions of people that currently live on the earth. Then dwiddle that down to the various continents, countries, cities, counties, neighborhoods, ethnicities, social and demographic cliques/groups, religious faiths, and personal preferences that exist within ALL of those.  Factor in jobs, social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, grocery store visits, and other opportunities for people to interact.  Then figure in schedules, finding/making the time to get to know another person, emotional intelligence to recognize a potential connection, introduce families and friends, fend off mal-intended observers and other relationship viruses, while building a fort strong enough to make it through tough times, misunderstandings, and hormonal changes…PHEW!  There’s far more behind the scenes than just catching eyes across a crowded room…how did you both end up in that room at THAT precise time and present yourselves in such a way that would signal to the other that you finally found each other in the first place?  A series of intricate miracles.

I like to think that I have a relatively vivid imagination, but I don’t know if I can accurately imagine what that moment of choosing will be like.  I have my own whimsical ideas of romance and what it might be like to be swept off my feet by someone who just “gets” me.  I’ve evolved through the stage of believing he’s supposed to be able to read my mind…buuuuttt I do anticipate that in all of those “miracles” of connecting that he would have learned some things that make me light up and have the most significance.  Conversely, I imagine that I’ll learn how to anticipate him and be confident in my own understanding of who we are and be able to pour back into our union what is needed and desired in order to maintain a healthy flow of who and what we are.

But specifically, I’m referring to making the conscious decision to focus on maintaining a garden of Love that nurtures and affirms a unique partnership.  Because, while there could have been (or might even still be) the possibility of meeting other attractive aspects of ourselves in someone besides each other, the notion that we would intentionally close the door on any alternate reality (thereby no longer accepting it as an alternative) and purposely choose to create a home and life with each other alone just baffles, bewilders, and overwhelms me in the best possible way.  But honestly, I think a part of me would panic.  The perfectionist myth that is a part of me would wonder if I’m “really” making the right decision.  And what if either one of us is missing some key information or understanding about the other?  What if as we continue to evolve we wind up at different places?  What if we are attracted to the “idea” of one another as we envision the other’s “potential” self to be, rather than the reality of who we really are AS we are…and that potential never materializes as we thought?

Call me a fool, but I think I’d rather take the risk.  Because I’m imagining under what circumstances I would actually consider taking such a conversation seriously and under just those circumstances alone, I would “know”.  At that point, it would be much less a mental processing and analysis and more a stripping down to the bare bones and skinny dipping in the natural flow of things…nothing to taint or color the decision.  Nothing to slow me down from saying “Yes!” emphatically and from a place of raw Truth and knowing.  And being prepared to live in such a way that confirms what I knew to be true in the first place…honoring myself in my partner, proud to know that where I am is exactly what I intended to create with him, and continuing to avail myself to the infinite possibilities that exist within our Universe together.

Pretty cool fantasy, huh?  I’m looking forward to finding out how it actually manifests.  Probably not this month.  Maybe not even this year.  But when it does, I’m sure it’ll blow my mind how it all came together.


Mirror, Mirror…

I’ve had the opportunity to re-read some of my blogs lately, and every now and then I see an ugly monster rear its head.  And I want to address it.  It’s not envy or jealousy, but rather is hypocrisy.   I’ve noticed that in recent years I’ve become a version of the very thing that bugs the hell outta me…judgmental, critical, and self-righteous.  I’m not proud of it, but I am owning it as true.  Otherwise, there’s no other way to begin to change it, because there’s no acknowledgement that a problem exists.  Isn’t that the first step to recovery?  Well, I’m diving in.

Being raised in differing denominations of Christianity, and attending a Christian university, I had some very fundamental religious concepts instilled into me.  Things like original sin, the necessity and grace of salvation, resurrection, hell, holiness, purity, trust in a just God, God’s sovereignty, the smallness of man, and so on.  (I’m not a theologian, and never claimed to be one…so if any of these things aren’t technically “Fundamental”, forgive me.  When I say “fundamental”, I’m referring only to the things that were basically drilled home on a regular basis…not official dogma.)

My early years were lived in a more liberal type of religious environment, but the fundamentals were the fundamentals…so they were basically the same.  But beginning with my sophomore year in high school, I changed homes and began to attend a more “charismatic” church.  Here, the fundamentals were LIFE.  Not only were they taught, but they were lived with a vehemence that I’d never experienced or encountered before – complete with tracts, door-to-door witnessing, altar calls, lock-ins, and the like.  Straight up “kingdom business”!

In my early years, I attended church regularly because it’s all I knew.  It was what my family did.  But the lifestyle wasn’t as restricted and constricting as it became when I changed homes and churches.  Funny thing is that my home wasn’t restrictive (quite the contrary…it was more freedom than I’d ever known up to that point), but there was a religious regimen in place that left no room for anything other than the teachings being presented.  It wasn’t mandatory clothing and no make-up, but the culture was that of strict compliance to the Bible – God’s holy word.  Anything to the contrary was cause for not only concern, but depending on the infraction, prayer, fasting, laying on of hands, and possible pastoral counseling.

In this environment, I went from a sometime-y churchgoer to the Lord’s cheerleader.  I learned what it looked like to actually “live” what I’d been taught in the other church environment…and I was faithful.  I felt a strong sense of obligation to the tenets that my spiritual understanding had been built upon to that point.  But I also felt a strong sense of guilt whenever I wasn’t as excited about the Lord’s work as it seemed I should have been.  It was in this environment that I learned how to judge.

I saw how well other people were treated when they were serving God and doing it “right”.  I saw how “lost and lonely” other people looked and were treated when they tried to master being faithful to God, but somehow fell short.  I learned how to do the right things, and stay on the right side of righteousness so that I would be treated well.  And I also judged myself, based on all that I saw, because I saw others being judged…and I didn’t want that stigma.

I loved the aspects of restoration, reconciliation, and grace but was horrified by the idea that the God I served could be so mean and cruel as to cause (or graciously “allow”) bad things to happen to people if they weren’t holy enough.  Mortified by the idea that not only would He allow bad things to happen to them here, but if some freak accident caused them to die while they were thinking or doing something unholy, they would burn in hell for all of the rest of eternity.  No chance of parole, and no pardons…no exceptions.

That being the case, after high school, I wanted to make sure that I stayed “in grace”…so I continued on to a Christian university.  Here, I saw and heard of all MANNER of hellbound activity!  Everything from cursing, drinking, premarital sex, listening to secular music, partying with heathens…the whole nine.  My Christ cheerleading pom-poms were almost worn out by the end of freshman year…and I can only imagine how ridiculous I looked for condemning my roommate for ROCKING to Michael Jackson (she was in LOVE with him).  It was a lost cause and I felt myself “backsliding” because I started to actually “like” Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love”, thanks to the hellion of a dorm beautician who had her music on blast mode.  Yeah, I was falling and falling fast.

That way of living seems so far removed from me today, as I chill my sweet moscato, listen to the soothing “secular” jazz sounds of George Benson, enjoy a schedule that’s not dictated by spiritual emphasis weeks, visit different bars and do karaoke without feeling “convicted” or compelled to tell them about Jesus, and acquaint myself with the sound of my own voice rather than waiting to hear if what I want to do is “normal” and okay with the churchgoing public.

But these days I find myself plagued by a different version of the same judgmental virus.  Only it’s directed at those who now live the life that I once knew and followed oh-so-intimately.  It’s almost like a lashing out and poking fun at them…how small of me!

Here’s what I know…  Although I do not subscribe to the same ways of conducting my life, it’s not my place to judge them for how they conduct theirs.  HOWEVER, with my emancipation has come a yet untrained tongue and face (it seems to have lost its ability to bullshit anymore) which can be quite sharp in asking a “soldier for Christ” to back up off me should they push me to that point…I’m working on reclaiming my grace.  Nevertheless, I’m saying that I realize that there is a way to be free of what is no longer authentic for me without antagonizing those with which I once closely identified.

Because the truth of the matter is that judgment is judgment…regardless of where it’s aimed.  And I neither desire nor have the right to be anyone’s judge.  It’s just that I sometimes feel the need to “set the record straight” and go out of my way to prove that something is a certain way…when it’s absolutely unnecessary.  It is what it is.  I am who I am.  No need to prove anything, or set anything or anyone straight.

It’s pretty much a fight or flight type of response to what I perceive to be a potential threat.  But threat to what, is the question.  Threat to my personhood?  Threat to my liberty?  Threat to my future?  Threat to my own definition of who I am?  None of these things can be stripped of me…I’d have to surrender them.  So where does the fear come from?  What am I really afraid of?

Marianne Williamson’s “Return to Love” suggests that maybe I’m afraid of myself.  My own brilliant, incredible, amazing, resilient self.  And you know what?  I’m inclined to agree.  Because I’ve compared myself to so many others over the course of my life and journey, and felt as though I didn’t shine like them in some way or another.  But what I’ve come to realize is THAT’S THE POINT!!!  Living in other people’s shadows and under their umbrellas of what’s possible or acceptable is overwhelmingly exhausting!  And it is IMPOSSIBLE to ever grow into fullness and pure and genuine fulfillment coloring myself by someone ELSE’s numbers.

Judgment isn’t me.  That was someone else.  So while I know I’ll continue to speak about my various experiences and how I believe many of them made me shrink into a way-too-small version of myself, my goal is to learn to do so without venom and without contempt.  Beauty, grace, dignity, authenticity, humility, and truth is who I am…and how I want to deliver.  So when I look in to mirror today, I won’t see yet another “version” of me…but simply Dionne.

Does this mean that everything will be diplomatic, “safe”, and virtually pain-free?  Not at all.  There’s no way to satisfy or protect everyone.  But the point is my AIM should not be anyone or any group of people.  When I share, I want all of me to be free and have a place wherever I am.  But in this space of genuineness, I no longer have to fear that I won’t fit and therefore force myself into yet another space that doesn’t honor my truth.

Learning how to balance all of this is such an interesting journey, but one that I’m so glad to finally be on.


Sexual musings – MATURE CONTENT

Fucking.  If you can’t make it past this word, then this article might not be for you.  Because what I’m pondering here is something that goes beyond a mere profane word, and might go a little deeper or be a little more graphic or “other” than what some will feel comfortable with.  So “fucking”, is essentially like being tossed into a chilly swimming pool to shock the system, rather than being given the opportunity to ease into it slowly.  So if you’re still reading, you might be shaking a little, but I’m assuming your mind is open and you might not get lost before the end.  If not, adequate warning has now been given.  Alright, here goes…

What is sex?  When most of us think of it, we’re thinking of the physical contact between genitalia.  And by definition, that’s technically what sexual contact is…the joining, stimulation, or manipulation of sexual organs.  And for the purposes of keeping this from becoming a full dissertation, I won’t delve into what constitutes a sexual organ (but anyone who’s successfully survived puberty should know that sexual stimulation goes far beyond the penis, breasts, and clitoris/vagina…more on that at another time).

One thing I’ve wondered is why is sex such a triggered response to so many emotions and scenarios?  It’s almost like eating…and in some cases, it IS eating (and this is usually quite welcomed).  Sad?  Have sex; it’s a great picker-upper (MUCH better than any paper towel, for sure…and hopefully not so “quick”).  Happy?  Celebrate it with sex (nothing says “I love you” like a great session of head/face, hair-pulling, back-scratching, and ass smacking…sounds more violent than it really is).  Pensive?  Sex can help clear the mind and release those endorphins, so the thoughts come more clearly (no pun intended; eh…okay, maybe a little).

I recently had a very stimulating and provocative conversation with a friend, and at the end of that conversation I was primed and ready for some pretty intense sexual activity…and the conversation was as NON-SEXUAL as it could get.  This shocked the hell outta me.  Because I was wondering why the hell that conversation had me so “open”.  I had been stimulated in every way EXCEPT sexually, and felt so “full” and vibrant, yet grounded and at peace, that I literally wanted to be filled with more of that.  Not that friend, but that which matched me.  In that moment, my reality was missing nothing, I felt whole and awake, and my senses were alert.  A “booty call” wouldn’t have done the job.  It was as if the infinity of my soul had opened and I wanted to drink in (figuratively and literally) and connect with more of my own infinity…and no, masturbating wasn’t the answer either.  Nah…right then, I wanted to connect with my own infinite match.  It wasn’t a “longing” so much as it was a readiness to receive, and a desire to pour out more of myself…so I’m writing.

And this experience brings me to the topic of casual sex.  I was raised to believe that it was wrong…period.  No explanation given, other than it went against God, defiled my body and created “soul ties” – whatever that meant.  My comprehension of those concepts was far below what was needed to make sense of any of it.  But now I get it.  And my understanding is expanded…probably to the point of heresy of the original context, but that’s not my concern or problem.  So let me break down my understanding for you…

  • Going against God means going against myself…because I AM God.  Aw shit…did I lose you?  I’m not the “concept” of God that is prayed to, worshipped, or glorified…I AM the same energy that whatever God-concept you subscribe to is.  Think about it…if that energy is infinite, how can I (or you) be anything other than the same?  Infinity cannot be separated. Just sit with that for a bit…you won’t go to hell for it.  Casual sex does not honor that which I am, because by the very general understanding of casual sex (non-committal and non-obligatory sexual relations) it cannot.  It’s like going to the bathroom…you don’t have to have a relationship with the toilet in order to release into it; just “handle business” and be done with it.
  • Having casual sex doesn’t defile my body any more than the other shit we do that doesn’t encourage optimal health, such as drinking alcohol, eating fatty foods, being around people with toxic attitudes, or speeding.  But I’m not going around rebuking a bag of chips nor feeling the need for an altar call after driving 9 miles over the speed limit (they ticket at 10+ mph over…ain’t nobody got time for that).  But since all that I “am” is currently utilizing this body, these are things that could jeopardize how long I get to experience this side of eternity if practiced frivolously.
  • Lastly, sex is not the only activity that creates ties to people we don’t necessarily want or need to be connected to.  So banning sex on the principle of being “unequally yoked” is like denying a road trip, or forbidding the lending or borrowing of money…which probably SHOULD be forbidden, but I digress…  Sex in a casual sense can create an illusion of oneness and implies obligation to the other person (I mean really…it’s not a simple handshake).  So it stands to reason that I would be prudent about who I invite into my intimate space and bind myself to.  Because even if I KNOW that things are supposed to be casual, if that person gets sick in their body you can bet your last dollar that I’m going to be(come) concerned and want to know what’s going on…because they were once a part of me, literally.

All that being said, I’m not a fan of casual sex, but it’s not because of a religious directive against it…although there was nothing inherently wrong with the directive.  Except that once I grew into an understanding of my own, I felt like what I was told before was manipulative and fear-inciting.  But hey…whatever gets the job done, right?  Problem is, I still had casual sex and know countless other religious folks who got that same message and still “got it in” on a regular basis…so the “job”?  Yeah…not done.

I don’t care for it because, for ME (others may feel differently), of the lack of perception involved.  I need understanding.  I want to understand and be understood.  To see and be seen.  If there is a significant lack of essential understanding between myself and the other person, I find it difficult to become or remain sexually attracted to them…no matter how physically attractive, smart, charming, etc. a person may be.  If we don’t “get” each other, we probably won’t GET each other…what’s the point?

And when I forego a sexual encounter, it doesn’t mean I’m judging the person…I’m simply acknowledging a dissonance in our understandings.  It’s not that I’m any better than that person, but I’m wanting a certain type of connection.  One that strokes not only my “lady parts”, but perceives the vast fullness of my being.  Along those lines, I’ve had encounters where no sexual gratification was involved, but because of the perception experienced I felt compelled to unite all of myself (genitalia included) to that person.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had and enjoyed meaningless sex a number of times.  But these days, not so much.  I can stimulate myself – I’m very good at it, I know what I like, and there’s no performance anxiety.  And yes, there are times when my physical orifices are all but screaming out to be fed in every sense of the word.  But the idea that I would invite someone into my space that I don’t truly perceive and who has no idea of “who” or what I am pretty much keeps me from pursuing it.  [But as “enlightened” as I am, I’m still human…if he finds “that” spot before my coochie shield is securely in place, it’s a wrap.]

And dammit…I STILL went in directions I hadn’t planned on taking in this writing.  But apparently, it wanted out.  There you have it.  Stay tuned; there’s more still to come…


Clearing the Static

I recently was helping my nephew find his “quiet music” station on his radio, which we use for him to help quiet his mind to go to sleep.  We found the station, but for some reason this time it had a lot of static.  You know, like it was between stations are something.  We could hear what “would” have been nice, ambient jazz sounds…but it was clouded by some other frequency ambiguity.  This made me think about my life and the voices I’ve heard over the years (not “those” voices…never had the excitement of experiencing that).  Some voices matched what I felt to be right…many did not.  But my own voice was always clouded by the voices of every other person I chose to “tune in” to instead of my own.

Now I believe in the value of wise counsel and getting other perspectives.  But when those counselors are elevated to dictators, and those perspectives become directions that’s a problem.  Within the last year and a half or so, I have had the privilege of becoming re-acquainted with the sound of my own voice.  Not my physical voice, but the sound of my soul and spirit…my inner voice.  You may call it God, or the Holy Spirit, or whatever your spiritual language is…if you choose to have one.  But that inner part of me that speaks and I know the Truth of the matter, is what I’m referring to.

Some texts refer to this voice as still and small.  I believe the reason it is so still and so small is because there are so many other “competing” frequencies that tend to drown it out.  Whether it’s the news, a boss, a spouse, a pastor/priest/rabbi/etc, our children, our daily activities, friends…just LIFE.  For me, I’ve found that it’s paramount that my day start with some kind of quiet – even if it’s just for a few minutes.  Otherwise, the rest of the day is frenzied and I feel “off” and afloat…and not in a good way.  Taking just a few tender moments to listen to the Truth that resides on the inside means that I am better able to handle the day’s responsibilities and challenges as they come.  Am I always successful in doing this?  No, and there is a distinct difference when it does and doesn’t happen.

This quiet may be silence, or it may be listening intently and harmonizing with the songs of the birds outside my window.  Don’t look at me in that tone of voice…I know this may sound hokey or corny, but there’s something to it.  I’m not an expert on anything except my own experience, so I won’t “tell” you how to find and listen to the Truth within you.  All I can do is remind you that it IS there (in ALL of us), and encourage you to tune in so that your own life is as accurate and ambient as it can be…uninterrupted, clear, and certain.


The Power of Letting Go

“There comes a time in a every person’s life when…”  These words can spark any number of thoughts and conversations.  And I’ve been having these conversations a lot lately.  And I’m realizing that the older I get those “times” are happening more frequently.

There’s something about the wisdom that tends to come with age.  And I don’t think it has anything to do with getting older in and of itself.  I believe that it’s just that when we bump our head enough times, we start to realize…  “Well, damn!  Maybe I need to stay the hell away from that corner.”  And the more times we go around a slightly different corner, but run into the same or similar snags we start to realize how certain “corners” tend to be connected.  And we learn how to better navigate our desired path.

I’ve had some recent experiences that have led me to some realizations.  Realizations that might seem “late” to some, but yet another realization that I’ve had is that we are all on our own time.  What may seem late to me may be long before someone else got the same understanding for themselves.  And yet another realization that I’ve had is that comparing one journey to someone else’s is completely futile, usually counterproductive and retards our own growth.

One realization is that as cruel as it sounds, there are certain people who are absolutely unworthy of you.  Have you ever spent time with someone and when you left them, you felt like you actually lost life?  That’s a BIG clue!  If spending time with them leaves you feeling like you just wasted actual LIFE on them, you might want to reconsider that association.

I’m not talking about the occasional trying time that a loved one goes through that leaves you unsure of yourself or your effectiveness in the situation (because anyone who’s ever loved long and deep enough will go through that at least once…either as a single incident or a season).  I’m talking about the person who always is a drain, sap, or mooch of some sort.  In this situation, rarely are you the focus or is your emotional temperature even taken.  If what’s going on with you doesn’t directly affect or impact them in that moment, they couldn’t care less.  Every time they come around, they always tend to assume the beneficiary role while they themselves offer very little, if any, support.

These relationships tend to be among our longest lasting relationships…because they usually develop long before we grow into ourselves and come to realize the true toxicity of the nature of the relationship.  And we finally wake up to a relationship that is there because there is a burdensome sense of obligation to the length of its history.  And we don’t want to appear that we’ve forgotten “where we come from”, or don’t want them to feel “left behind”.  But uh…this ain’t public school, and somebody’s ass NEEDS to be left behind!  What the hell WERE they doing while you were going through whatever your history involves?  Really think about it.  Could you have made it through that season without them being there?  Was what they offered in that season really worth what TODAY looks and feels like?

Hear me.  I’m not talking about a quid pro quo type of relationship necessarily, because in any relationship there are seasons of giving and receiving.  But just as a fowl sheds its shell, a snake sheds its skin, a butterfly sheds its chrysalis, and a baby sheds its womb…so must we learn to shed that which keeps us from growing into the fullness of who we are meant to be.  And of course this is harder than it sounds, but ooooohhh is it worth it!

I’m still having some separation anxiety in some cases, because the relationships are familiar and there IS history.  But the more I realize that the relationships served who I WAS and not who I AM and am becoming, the more I’m able to release the guilt of letting go and allow things to develop (or fall away) as they should.  And for someone like me (loyal to a fault, and prone to hold on beyond reason), this is a big deal.

It’s making me intentional about the relationships that I do feed.  I want to water those relationships that I value in my current awareness.  I want them to know how much I appreciate them.  I reach out (even if only seasonally) just to let them know I’m glad they’re a part of my life and where I am, and honored that they allow me to be a part of theirs.  My life is enriched because they’re in it.  And it’s not a constant barrage of love notes (although I can tend to be randomly sappy), nor do I necessarily share time in regular intervals.  But when that time does come, I enjoy them for not only what they do for me and/or my spirit but simply for who they are and choose to be.

The “other” relationships?  Well, they tend to show themselves.  And there’s usually not much we have to do to let them go, besides release our own guilt about not “feeding the cat”…and it will go away on its own.  But let me be perfectly clear…  I am not suggesting “testing” relationships, becoming lazy, or ditching out in a season that is designed to teach us how to endure stormy weather and/or learn how to better relate in times of frustration or disappointment.  This is not intended to be the coward’s out.  But not so deep inside (because it’s not rocket science, and not that dramatic) you know which relationships need to be released.

And in some cases, maybe it’s not a person.  Perhaps it’s a habit, or way of coping that we’ve outgrown.  Maybe it’s a way of thinking or doing things.  Maybe it’s a tradition or belief system.  Could be anything that we feel obligated to because it’s been a part of who we are for as long as we can remember, but somehow we feel like a liar or poser any time we participate in it.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I’m not alone in this.

So in this season of resolutions and in the spirit of new beginnings, I’m being honest about my relationships…all of them.  I encourage you to do the same.  And in some cases, if we were to be honest with ourselves, maybe that means that people are preparing to let US go.  In those cases, we have to let them make the choice that’s right for them while still honoring their chosen path…even if that path doesn’t include us.  Again, much easier said than done, but true nonetheless.  This is not about ego, feeling “liked” or accepted, or hanging our emotional hat on who chooses to share time and life with us…it’s about being whole, being genuine, and being true.

I’ve heard it said that love sometimes means loving enough to let go.  Love yourself enough to let go…in every sense.


Celebrating Love

It’s actually one of the most talked about, written about, sung about, danced about, “whatever” ABOUT topics in the world… And here I go, adding more fuel to the “love” fire. :o) But hey…what do you expect? It’s a universal common denominator…it unites us all, in one way or another. We can all relate to it. And whether we give ourselves permission to admit or not, we all want it…and it wants us.

I’ve been blessed to hear some phenomenal teachings and presentations regarding the subject. And with the multi-dimensional nature of Love, I and any of us could write about this – in MANY aspects and from myriad perspectives – for eternity. But the excitement of Valentine’s Day has me pondering the romantic aspect for a moment…or three. :o)

Although I’ve gone through a number of life scenarios, challenges and situations, I’ve never really been in a “relationship”. *Gasp!* LOL Not “for real”, anyway. I’ve had a number of “crushes”, a few “trists”, and even felt like I was “in looooove” before…but I’ve never been in a committed relationship with anyone. I don’t know if it was fear of commitment, or fear of failure, or the awkwardness of letting someone into “me”, or what. It seemed as though the closer I let someone get to me, the more vulnerable I became, and the more afraid I became of ultimately “losing”.

One of the lines in a popular song says “…why does it seem like those who give in [to love], they only wind up losing a friend?” In my case, I was afraid of not only losing a friend to the awkwardness of transitioning into “new territory”, but I was also apprehensive about losing in the “love game”. I mean, what if we get over there and realize that we’re not compatible? What if my past is too much for him to accept, once it’s all on the table? What if we get on each others’ nerves and wind up not liking each other anymore? What if one of us is too opinionated or critical and the other person winds up feeling alienated and ultimately walks away? What if family members start “dippin'” in our business without request and we wind up feuding? Or what if being naked with the lights on is a bad move, the sex is bad and we don’t want each other anymore? (Hey, we’re adults…can we be “real”?) Granted, true love is none of these things, but they play a role in the relationship and add dimensions to the “big picture”. It’s almost like learning how to drive a car in the beginning, and trying to figure out how all the gears and features are supposed to work, without crashing and/or causing irreparable damage…to you or anyone else.

Because of these hang-ups (and, as the lighthearted song conclusion goes, “and maaaany moooooooore!!!” LOL), I found myself almost cursing the idea of loving anyone romantically…or letting anyone love me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I had STUDIED “singleness” as a dysfunction all my life. [Maybe I’ll share what I mean by that later, in another venue.] And because of my observations in that arena, from the outside looking in, I said to myself “Nah…I’m good on that!”

But somewhere along the way…something changed. What I thought I “knew” about love wasn’t what I thought it was. My understanding got dismantled and knew seeds were planted. The harvest of old seeds that were planted started getting choked out by the more powerful seedlings that somehow got planted along the way. It’s like even in the midst of my poorly constructed wall of “NO!!!”, Love listened to the “real” desire of my heart and allowed my attention to gradually shift (’cause you you know get what you focus on, right?), thereby planting new seeds of what I really wanted after all.

NO, it’s not because a man came along and swept me off my feet and I’m swooning…give me SOME credit, please! LOL It’s just that negative energy is HEAVY…no matter how “justified” it may seem. And I guess I just got tired of carrying it around. And I learned some years ago that you can never have what you can’t celebrate. In other words, if you see a couple holding hands, or embracing, or smiling/laughing together, etc. and you find yourself sucking your teeth, rolling your eyes, or inwardly making some snide comment, there’s a good chance that you’re repelling those experiences from your own reality. Conversely, when you authentically celebrate those moments and learn to feel genuinely happy, you catalyze and subconsciously welcome the same experience(s) for yourself. [Because I had PERFECTED the former and practiced a hearty “Get a room!!” (LOL!) every time I saw it, and even justified my cynicism with judgments about the possible “story BEHIND the story” with the couple, it took a WHILE to even be open to moving from critical cynic to hopeless romantic. And honestly, I’m still learning and growing, but I’m more conscious about my “side and inner talk”.]

Love is a miracle. Love is a decision. And love, like success, is a journey…not a destination. There are many twists and turns. Some highways, side roads, and even dark alleys at times. We don’t always know who or what we’re going to run into along the way. But it’s definitely a worthwhile adventure. We’ve heard it said “it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. The point is not to focus on the prospect of losing, but rather on the idea of taking the calculated risk of letting go and experiencing something sweeter than you’ve ever experienced before. And although taking such a risk holds no guarantees of long-term bliss and happiness, and you “could” experience (or cause) hurt in the process, at least you know what it tastes like. But just like that car, you can learn from the experience, pay more attention next time and be just fine getting back on the road.

So while I have no personal “invitations” or “announcements” to send out other than “I LET GO”, I’m grateful for Love’s miracle. Happy [belated] Valentine’s Day, all!


Woman Unplugged

As a single woman who is beyond “youthful exploration” when it comes to dating and relationships, I find my pool of options looking more and more like that tiny tank at the bottom of the circus dive.  The skill and mastery required in order to “make it in” and not seriously mangle myself in the process is definitely in the “not a game” category.  What follows is a peek into the journey my mind goes on when considering a potential suitor.  Pack a lunch…it’s a nice li’l tour.

I “get” the whole self-esteem thing.  My value of myself should not be wrapped up in how a man sees me…and it’s not.  But the issue *I* have is being in love with “me” (a relationship that has taken a LIFETIME to build…but that’s the subject of an entirely different conversation), and I don’t feel like you recognize the gift that stands before you.  And NO, it’s not me being “stuck-up”, “siddity”, “bitchy”, or a snob.  It’s simply that I now recognize my inherent value and I’m now at peace with my Divine design, and love the “me” I see looking back at me…faults and all.  So, NO, I don’t “need” you to make me feel beautiful, intelligent, fabulous, sexy, or incredible…my relationship with myself already establishes this.  I’d just like to know that you recognize the masterpiece that is being presented to you.  Conversely, my inclination is to do the same.

I know the temptation is for both of us to not want to “feed ego” when we give one another props.  But the truth of the matter is we both deserve to be celebrated and honored for the absolutely phenomenal people that we are – individually, and as the power couple that we can be.  I have no problem AT ALL scooping a healthy helping of the love I have from inside me and smearing it all over you, allowing you to glide through your days with that extra “edge” of a woman willing to share and combine “very best”s with you.

Now let’s imagine this scenario…

When I tell you that I think you’re amazing and I recognize you for the gift that you are, I know it’s not because you don’t already know this (because you also have invested time and energy into developing into the man who obviously caught my eye and heart).  It’s because I want to take the time to honor an honorable man.  I choose to celebrate you because I treasure you and God IN you, and I appreciate the value you add to the quality of my life and being.  I love the reflection I see of myself when I’m with you and it is my distinct honor and pleasure to speak life into you and infuse you with value in the same spirit in which you infuse me.  I don’t take you for granted, and every day I count you as not one but myriad blessings in my life because I can’t single out the one thing that you bring/give/add to me…my entire life is transformed because I am now a part of you, and we are an empire and a world unto ourselves.

When you use your incredibly beautiful mouth to tell me how beautiful I am, you strengthen the bond I have with myself.  And since you are a man of wisdom, you understand that I can only love you as much as I love myself, and when you choose to speak life into me and strengthen and confirm my love for myself, you in turn strengthen our love and sow seed into your own future.  Your building me up does not jeopardize your place in my world…it solidifies it.  Your kind words, your tender touch, your passionate expression, your deliberate actions, and your genuine presence are the concrete that the foundation of our life together is built upon.  The pillars, the beams, the shingles, the fixtures, and the decorations of accolades, careers, adventures, our children, and life decisions are incidental in comparison.  The high winds of challenges, conflict, and outright confrontation can come at us at 1,000 miles an hour, but with a foundation as purposely strong as ours, it will pass just as quickly as it came…and like the phoenix, we rise from the rubble.

I choose to love you and let you love me.  I enjoy being the first to celebrate and applaud you…because you sowed those same seeds into me long ago, and continue to water them often.  My face is the first to light up when I hear of the kindhearted things you do for others…because what they receive is simply an overflow of who and what you are at home all the time.  It is my joyful pleasure to take my time fulfilling your needs, because I never have to worry if my needs will be taken care of; you anticipate me and eagerly tend to needs I didn’t even know I had…and with every seed you sow into my garden, I enjoy making sure your harvest is bountiful.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when we want to strangle each other.  But for every one of those times, there are a thousand more of beautifully violent back scratching and hair pulling.  And no, it’s not all physical…that’s merely an inevitable byproduct of the mental, spiritual, and emotional connection that we’ve worked diligently at maintaining.  We communicate often – sometimes with words, but mostly in attitude and actions.  Either way, there is a symphony of congruence between what we say and what we do.  And simply put…I love you loving me.  Not because I “need” you to love me and make me feel good.  But because your love reflects the truth that I’ve finally grown into…and I am free to “be” more of my true self as your love bathes me, washes the undesirable off, and keeps me “pure”.  Not in a manipulative or obsessive/possessive kind of way…but rather in a way that causes us to be almost ridiculously trusting of one another.  We sow so much into each other – out of the comfort and security of our love for ourselves – that we are perfectly clear on where our harvest is.  Our soil is tilled, the haters offer so much “fertilizer”, and the quality of the seed we sow into each other is so high that it doesn’t make sense to cultivate or farm elsewhere.  And if one of us ever happens to feel “lost” in the shuffle and become distracted, our consistency provides a compass back HOME…where peace, love, and grace abides and abounds.

What the Divine joins together, let no one separate.  

So if you’re ready for THIS…I’m all in.  If not, I’m respectfully declining the offer and staying on the train.


Sharing Is Caring

With Valentine’s Day approaching, there is a lot of buzz surrounding love and expressing that love with those we care about.  I’m doing more writing lately, and I’m getting back into the “songwriting gym”, so to speak, to exercise my creativity and be more accountable to who I truly am and what I truly love.  “Love” (and all of its myriad stages and phases) is a concept that has been and will always be a staple topic.  As I was writing, I was looking for a word to more accurately convey the concept of “carefully” falling in love (oxymoronic, I know) and the word “share” came to mind to replace “give” as it relates to the intimate matters of the heart and all other things precious.

Think about what it means to give.  First of all, in most cases, there are a number of preliminary stages that have already been successfully completed before a gift of any sort would even seem appropriate.  This means we trust at minimum that 1) the person receiving the gift will be a worthy steward of the gift they’re receiving, and 2) the gift is appropriate for the nature of the relationship.  Second, we don’t usually give trite or meaningless gifts…the gift always has some kind of value.  Whether it’s monetary, sentimental, or whatever…it means something, no matter how simple, because some level of thought and energy went into choosing the “right” gift for the recipient.  Third, when we “give” a gift, we release all claims to it once it’s transferred to the recipient.  We have absolutely no say in what the recipient does (or does not do) with what we give them.  We don’t even have a say over “how” they receive the gift.  S/he can graciously receive it, half-heartedly receive it, take it and put it on a shelf, lock it in a vault, frame/encase it for display, re-purpose it, eventually forget they have it, or even return it if it turns out not to be to their liking.  The same is true when we “give” our heart to someone.  [For the purposes of keeping  this from turning into a “counter-Valentine’s-y” note (because a WHOLE THESIS can be written on this), I won’t delve further into that just now. Just…”SELAH” (a Hebrew term I like, which roughly means “pause and think on that”).]  But I believe we have all made this choice at one time or another.

Alternatively, we are taught from our earliest school years what it means to “share”.  And in an effort to validate my “aha!” moment, I found this definition of the word: “To allow someone to…enjoy something that one possesses”.  By this definition when we “share” something, we still retain what we’re presenting to another yet there is mutual enjoyment.  Therefore, when we share our heart with those we love, we don’t completely “lose” ourselves to the whims and vicissitude of what we choose to allow our process of growing in love to become, but rather we continue to possess the fullness of ourselves while allowing another person to partake in and enjoy the same fullness.  Notice I said “retain” and not “restrain”.  It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re withholding a portion of ourselves (again, refer back to being appropriate for the nature of the relationship), it simply means we remain responsible for and accountable to our essential selves without offering ourselves as a “free and clear” token of sacrifice on the altar of ambiguity and the unpredictability of being a human being in love.  [And yes, we know that “perfect love casts out fear”, but since we’re not perfect neither is our love…so we must be realistic and recognize that trusting others enough to welcome them into the “all” of who we are (glorious and not-so-glorious) can be a scary thing…no matter how much each person thinks they know the other.]

On the surface it might appear to be a contradiction, because we are so accustomed to the idea that when we truly love someone (another “fluid’ concept), we must be willing to completely give ourselves without reservation in order for the relationship to work.  But if we consider the fact that there are more failed marriages and partnerships based on this premise, it stands to reason that some reassessment is merited.  As a society, we tend to romanticize what it means to be in love, putting almost the complete onus of our happiness in a relationship on the other person…this is EXTREMELY unfair and very frustrating – for both parties!  Because before we met Prince Charming or Princess Grace, we operated from a certain level of contentment (or discontent, as the case may be) yet we somehow continue to fall prey to the belief that once we meet “the one”, all of our previous frustrations, disappointments, character flaws, or personal burdens will magically fade away…because “s/he will rescue me”.  [We’ll all deny it, because it sounds and IS ludicrous…but subconsciously, we subscribe to it in varying degrees.]  Yes, these discomforts feel lessened because we now have someone to distract us from focusing on some or all of these nuisances and/or to share these burdens of our lives with, but they don’t disappear altogether, and it’s impractical to expect it.

In all drinking ads, because of the various lawsuits there have been surrounding glamorizing drinking without encouraging responsible behavior, we hear or see the words “drink responsibly”.  Along those same lines, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage each of us to “love responsibly”.  Expecting our spouse or significant other to “fix” what a lifetime of living (including previous “mis-loves”) has done is irresponsible.  When we give our heart to someone, and (just like a child who brings a broken toy to someone they “believe” can make it work properly again) stand there and wait for them to return it in better condition than how we gave it to them, we set the relationship up for ultimate failure.  It is not their job to right all the wrongs previously done to us, or to attempt to overcompensate for other ill-fated experiences.  The most responsible thing for us to do is be honest about who we really are (faults and all) and what [we “think”] we know we bring to the table (although our soulmate always manages to see more in us than we see in ourselves) and share that vastness with him/her…and prove ourselves worthy of having him/her do the same.  We need to care enough to NOT give ourselves over to him/her…but rather consciously and deliberately share ourselves, while still remaining completely responsible for our own heart and happiness.

I know…  We can all “argue” for or against either theory (because I certainly do still – after all, the various facets of Love and matters of the heart and soul are as infinite as the Source of creation).  So whether you plan to share your heart with someone this “love season” or not, it’s just something I was thinking about…and I thought I’d “share” it with you.