Flaunt It, Girl!

It has been a while since I’ve visited my real spot, but boy has a lot happened since then. I am getting used to things working out for me, as Abraham-Hicks would say. It’s been a daily journey to say the least, but I will admit that living in the vortex and focusing on maintaining alignment with source certainly makes life interesting.

Thus far, this year is characterized with progress. I am still learning a lot about courage to embark on new ideas and being mindful of my self opinion. Notice I didn’t say self image. The distinction between opinion and image are somewhat connected, but very different because they come from different perspectives. The idea of image is heavily reliant on how download (1)others perceive you. You know, that face that you show the world and how you want others to define you. We’ll call it your inner Kim Kardashian. Now don’t get me wrong, Kim has got a lot going for her and many fans love and idolize her, but something in her selfies screams “Hey, over here!”, “Pay attention to me!”, “I’m still pretty, right?”

Nothing’s wrong with celebrating your looks or your body, but there’s a thin line between celebration and desperation. Just make sure you’re on the right side.

On the sunny side of the lawn,  your opinion of yourself which is far more valuable than validating your appearance through the admiration of others. And the funny thing is that if you have an appreciative and optimistic opinion of yourself, you walk with more confidence, you speak with more authority, and you smile more because you know you’re awesome and everything you touch turns to gold. If you’re not here yet, don’t worry! Just change your way of thinking and work on it everyday.

When I’m in my mom’s country town where nearly everybody dresses down, I dress down with them. I feel just as comfortable walking into the local convenience wearing flip flops, even though I may be a few days over due on a pedicure, and with my curly hair pulled loosely into a clip. In fact, I’ll more than likely have quite a few hairs on the sides that worked themselves out of my lackadaisical hair-do. No make-up, who cares? I feel just as beautiful and attractive as I do when I’m a little more made up. True beauty is truly inside, and that doesn’t change. Actually it’s stronger because it shines through you outward appearance. Allow your love for everything,  your family, children, significant other, community, nature, and anything else that you appreciate to shine through.

I know the previous explanation may seem a tad bit haughty to some, but I feel great about myself and you should feel great about yourself as well. Contrary to the the well-known adage, it is okay to toot your own horn but always remember that the wind that sounds the horn comes from within you.

I’ve dealt with my opinion of myself off and on for about the last week, and every time a self-deprecating question arose in my head (a product of doubt, mind you) I would quickly remind myself: “I’m perfect just the way I am”, “I love my body and it is working for me”, “I am expanding beautifully and I love my life.”

Anything to prevent doubt from hijacking the opinion I have of myself. If you let those self-deprecating questions simmer long enough, you’ll eat your own misery. But we don’t even have to go there, you’ve got this.

Poem: I Had No Idea It Would Rain Today

I had no idea it would rain today,

I didn’t have a clue.

The gray clouds didn’t show their face,

The sky was clear and blue.

The sun welcomed me as a long past friend

After hiding for years from view.

The gloom came over as the storm clouds passed

And reminded me of old news.

I didn’t think it would rain today,

I thought the bad weather had gone

To a place that’s far from my memory

Like a forgotten childhood song.

I didn’t know it would rain today,

But boy I’m glad it did.

It reminds me that the deed will pass

For sunshine never ends.

LOVE. What’s In a Word?

“I love you” is one of the most endearing phrases in any language. I believe that even animals communicate this expression in some way. The most simple definition I can offer for the word love is that you know that you love someone in someway when you admit to yourself that what happens to them matters to you.

There are actually four basic types of love. Other sources may call them by different names, but these are my labels: Eros, Agape, Philos, and Friendship. I’ll explain each.

Eros, or romantic love, is love shared between lovers. When we tell our husbands, wives, girlfriends, or boyfriends “I love you” it’s a type of surrender. We expose a part of ourselves that isn’t shared with the rest of the world. This love is likeimages love venturing into the unknown without armor. We’ll feel the pain of every jab or blade fully. We accept the possibility that we may hurt deeply, but we also know that every embrace, every kiss, every touch will envelop our souls completely as well. We are unknowing, but optimistic, and it makes life even that more invigorating. This love has the potential to delve deeper and soar higher than any feeling we know. And even if we crash, the minutes above the ground makes it all worth while.

I love people in general because they are human. Despite our different walks in life, our statuses, our gender, and our relationships we share the same human experience. There is a thread that connects us all. I don’t live in a third world country, but I have experienced hunger and fear. I’m not a celebrity, but like Jennifer Aniston I have been heartbroken and disappointed in love. I’m not a millionaire or a CEO of a large corporation, but like Bill Gates I am driven by a passion. I know what it’s like to get excited about possibilities. I’m not an animal, but I appreciate the eagerness I see in the eyes of dog who is overjoyed to see his owner/friend. And, one more thing about dogs, you may have a day when you feel like everyone has taken a turn stepping on your back, but your dog will still look at you like you’re the greatest and most awesome person in the world. I love because despite our differences, we’re all just trying to navigate our way through the human experience. The love we have for mankind is called “Agape” or Godly love, I like to call this a love of creation. I love appreciate beings because they withstood years of evolution to come forth in the present day. And that is a victory in and of itself. This love even inspires me to have compassion on thieves, and those who seek to deceive us because they suffer with an Agape deficiency. I know this sounds whimsical, but if you imagine Agape love as a warmth that fills your spirit, to live without this must be an icy existence.

Like most people, I love my family. A line from the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my maw and paw, not the way that I do love you” is a great explanation of the love Philos. The love we have for our family is the acknowledgement of an unbreakable biological bond that we share with other human beings. One time my sister and I had a falling out and I told her, “Just because we are sisters, it doesn’t mean that I have to talk to you.” Sometimes we are compelled to keep some family members at bay for whatever reason, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t love them. Even the Bible say, “If it be possible, live peaceably with all men” which implies that there are some that we cannot possibly live peaceably with, and its okay. There’s nothing wrong with them, and there’s nothing wrong with us, we’re just different and we can still feel love for them without occupying the same space. Thankfully, after the comment I made to my sister I noticed a change in her demeanor and she began treating me with more respect and dignity.

Finally, the strongest love of the four is friendship. In a true friendship, you do not have to embellish or put on airs; instead you are only required to accept a kindred spirit for exactly who they are at all times. A real friendship requires honesty and understanding; without which it is not a friendship. You may be thinking, “What makes friendship stronger than romantic love?” Well, if you think about it romantic love is very conditional. If a romantic relationship lacks intercourse and intimacy, it dwindles. If one partner in a romantic relationship commits infidelity, the act alone weakens and could very well break the romantic bond. Or sometimes lovers just fall out of love, which there is always some underlying reason why this happens, but on the surface it may appear to be a sudden occurrence without rhyme or reason.

On the other hand in a friendship, in most cases, it doesn’t quite happen like this. Let’s make a comparison of how one would react to a friend who has cheated on their spouse or significant other versus the jaded spouse. A friend would provide counseling, advice, sympathy, and maybe even a little bit of constructive judgement in efforts to help their cheating friend see the error of their ways. The significant other is more likely to exhibit anger and resentment and would have a good reason to severe love ties.

This is not to say that true friendships are never demolished. The two loves, friendship and eros, ebb and flow through life. Throughout my life I have had very strong friendships with people with whom I am no longer in touch. It doesn’t mean that I no longer care for or love them, it’s just that life has taken us on different paths and we’ve become different people. We no longer fit into the same mold as when we first met. Some people have the malleability and a strong enough connection to evolve and maintain an open line of communication throughout the years, which is the true test of friendship. The best romantic love is one that is intertwined with friendship and an understanding that your partner has flaws, and will sometimes make mistakes. Through it all, you hold fast to their best qualities and try to be understanding, as much as you can.

I wrote this post because a few weeks ago my boyfriend said that he still loved his ex-wife. They have been divorced for sixteen years and they co-parent a now seventeen year old child. Knowing what I know about the different types of love, the question in my mind was “In what way?” Obviously this statement needed clarification. I’m pretty picky about word choice, as a matter of fact I tell my students that I love them, I tell my friends that I love them, I tell more people than I can think of that I love them and none of these people impose on the love I have for my significant other. And yet, I felt offended by the thought that this person who I feel very strongly about still has feelings for someone with whom he has a romantic history and must still occasionally communicate with due to the child they share.

I wasn’t sure how I should feel about this. To get a resolution to this dilemma, since I have never been married, I don’t have any kids, and all feelings for my exes left with the rest of their shit, I did what I usually do to solve a major problem: read articles and testimonials of people who have had similar experiences, and I called a divorced friend who is successfully married to a divorced man, and both of them have children from their previous marriages. I asked her how she felt about her ex-husband, and she admitted that she cared about her ex. For instance when his mother was sick she called and checked up on him, asked him if there was anything she could do for him, and she brought his mother some soup, pretty much the same things a person would do for a friend. She also said that she would definitely not use the word love to describe how she felt about him. With this clarification, and taking some time to mentally put myself in a better mental state, I readdressed the issue with my boyfriend of him still “loving”  his ex-wife. Thankfully by this time he had rethought his choice of words and corrected himself. The truth was that he cared for his ex-wife similar to the way my friend cared for her ex-husband.

This realization gave me relief, but at the same time I had to come to terms with the fact that for a second my trust in the bond between me and the love of my life was faltered by one misused word. Or was it misused? At the beginning of my blog I defined love as knowing that what happens to a person matters to you, and different types of love fill different portions of our lives. Whether we care for someone or full out admit that we love them, is the word itself really that scary?

 

The L-Word

No, not lesbian you fools. Even though what I have to say can apply to anyone, no matter your sexual orientation.

The L-Word that is the topic of this blog is LOVE.

love

Sure,it’s an overused, undervalued, whimsical thing to write about. After all, who hasn’t had his or her spirits dashed against the rock of disappointment, who among us hasn’t been heart broken. If you raised your hand, you’re missing out.

New love is like stepping out onto a freshly frozen pond. You hope that the ice has set long enough to hold your weight. And you hope that if you see a crack that could potentially pull you under, you have the foresight and the speed to get out of there. Quickly.

The other day, my fresh new relationship to a serious turn. My boyfriend admitted to me that he loved me, in a round about way. Well, after hesitating and biting his tongue, and starting and stopping (I knew what he wanted to say, but didn’t have the guts to take the first step) he asked me if I loved him. I stalled for a minute, replying that he had put me on the spot. The truth is that I did, and I do have strong feelings for him. I would get lost in a daydream picturing his face, and say, “I love you,” to the image in my mind. I was crazy about him, and I knew he felt the same about me.

But for weeks, walking around with the words burning in my chest propelled me to show him how I felt. I was like a mute with some great secret that yearned to say out loud, but could not.

I took the bait and told him how I really felt about him, knowing that metaphorically he had pushed me out onto the ice first. I didn’t have to ask him the same question, but I did because for some reason I felt it was better to have verbal confirmation. But don’t believe the hype. Words are overrated.

Saying the actual word, love, quenched the burning desire in my chest. It was almost a relief for both of us to admit how we felt about each other. We could exhale, we were no longer holding our breath while we looked at each other with a longing gaze. But the truth is, part of me misses the restraint. The burning is what keeps the idea of new love fresh. Now, the seal is broken, the plastic is off, the toy is out of the box, and the car has driven off the lot. We knew well that it couldn’t remain untouched forever.

What is “My Real Spot”?

Honestly, I don’t know. And I like it that way.

For the last fourteen years, I’ve been living in a city that I find mediocre. When I look back every now and then to evaluate my life choices, I realize that after college there was absolutely no reason for me to stick around, especially for as long as I have. I have no kids, nor a husband, but I have had a few dead end relationships that have stagnated me in the past.

Maybe that’s why I stuck around, I believe it is. But I’m glad that’s over.

I tell others, “I feel like I belong somewhere else.”

“Well where is that?” they reply.

“I don’t know where I belong,” I answer dumbly candid, “But it’s somewhere other than here.” And when I say this, I feel more sure about this than I have about anything in long time.

Until I find where I headed, this here, these words, this blog is my “real spot.”