A thought & a belief walk into a bar…

As I took a walk today, my mind took me back to a past memory, tucked away. I recalled a time when he and I were together at a gym. We had been  going through some rough times. As I was running on the treadmill next to him, I suddenly visualized myself alone, without him next to me, and the lightness of my body and the seemingly expansion of my soul was undeniable. It was instantaneous and lasted mere seconds but it was expansive to my soul in that moment. All I could do was feel, not think, but experience myself within that moment.  What was that all about? Why did I feel such exhalation? What did it all mean? It is only today as I study more and more about the processes of the mind, biology,  the power of intention, decision making, trusting the self and manifestation that I realize that  the clues have always been there just waiting to be deciphered.

I don’t know why the thought came to me to visualize myself without him but the results were empowering. Of course, then the guilt set in and I found myself judging myself for even thinking of the thought let alone feeling so happy within my mind and body.  It’s as if my soul was soaring with the visualization. How can the visualization of a separation be something so empowering and enlightening? How could not having someone by my side whom I love, be a freeing experience? I could not deny my powerful moment but I COULD ignore it, or wish it away. I could even lie to myself and tell myself it didn’t really mean anything or it didn’t really happen that way.

What I had not discovered yet was that my truth was sharing itself with me in the only way it could. Through my senses,  together with my mind.

I have always heard people say and even myself say, I trust myself or I don’t trust myself but what I see today is that I trust myself in every moment. Trust is an acceptance of a believing thought and that  what I feel in each moment,  as I define it by my perspective, IS the truth for me. If I believe thoughts that bring me pain, suffering, hopelessness, sadness or anger along with revenge, my body feels the effects of that thought. My body feels small, even sickly like my energy is draining. I feel out of control, loss, and fear. So much fear. So I can say with certainty that I trust myself. I am choosing to believe the thoughts that cause my self to feel the effects. I am trusting that the thoughts I have are my truth, in that moment and yet the effects bring me pain, smallness, anger, stress, jealousy, envy and hate. My world becomes small in an instant. My heart feels small, tight and constricted. The father of all of these constricting emotions is FEAR. Fear of rejection, being out of control, not knowing, abandonment, failure, looking inward, losing and being judged. Yet, I trust these beliefs so much. I trust them as my truth otherwise, I wouldn’t experience these emotions.

I’ve learned one big lesson since I’ve uncovered this connection between believing thoughts and experiencing an emotional response. It  is: Do not judge myself when I feel. Let me repeat that, do NOT judge myself when I feel!  I didn’t realize how much shame is involved in feeling. Somewhere along the way, I accepted the teachings that feelings were something to be controlled, not felt, or they should be denied. Especially if they were viewed as negative, in nature. Along with those teachings, I became my biggest critic. I would immediately judge any negative or fearful emotion and shut myself down, without having the freedom of acceptance to examine why I was feeling what I was. It was unacceptable to feel the way I was, so I would attempt to stifle, ignore or deny what I was truly feeling.

When  I was negatively affected by another person, I would immediately judge my feelings and to escape the dark feelings, I would put myself in the others shoes and start to justify why they would do or feel as they do. Unknowingly, I was honoring their feelings over mine. I was being dishonest about my feelings and not owning them first before viewing myself through the eyes of the other. As Author Byron Katy has written, “I was in their business when I needed to  be in MY business”.  I would start to talk to myself about how “wrong” I was to feel as I did. I was being inauthentic to myself.  I believe people are mostly afraid of negative feelings because we have too often been the witness of someone who has seemed out of control of their emotions. The result was usually some kind of destructive behavior being taken out on others and pain was the consequence.

What I didn’t realize is that when I feel emotion, I don’t have to REACT on what I’m feeling. I can just “be” with the feelings. I don’t have to act. I don’t even have to react and judge them. Just feel. Let the feelings flow through my body and take notice to what my body is feeling. This type of acceptance and “being” with my emotions, creates a space to delve deeper and explore the belief systems that lie below the surface of my emotions. I can find what I am believing that is causing me so much pain. Once I get to that belief, I can  question how true it is for me or not, not just for that moment but as a whole belief. I can question myself if it is something that is always true, has always been true for me under all circumstances in my life?  The next question is, do I want to continue believing this thought or do I want to change it? Now it’s time to get honest here. There are rewards in believing thoughts, even negative ones. It’s time to look at those rewards and see if I am really willing to give them up for a different belief system. Even if the answer if no, the action of taking responsibility for a belief system is powerful. Then I  can really claim this belief as an empowered individual instead of feeling like a victim by it. I  can believe it with vigor, knowing that I am  choosing to do so completely with awareness.

When a person is aware, they can claim what they feel and how they believe and it can become a part of them, instead of something they need to avoid, hide or deny. I have felt my wholeness expand as my belief systems are revealed and claimed. I no longer have to be afraid of my emotions. I am a safe place to feel without the damning judgements that used to be my companions.

On the other end of the negative emotions, there are other thoughts to believe in that bring me different physical and mental experiences. Feelings and emotions connected to the thoughts that bring me joy, love, confidence,  empowerment, strength, fulfillment, happiness, peace, abundance and prosperity. I am also believing those thoughts as well and feeling the consequences within my body. I find myself accepting of these types of emotions without feeling the need to explore my underlying beliefs. I usually allow these feelings to flow through me and the result is usually some kind of uplifting experience for me. My world becomes bigger and brighter with a love that can bring me to my knees, at times.

More often then not, I enjoy feeling my more uplifting emotions. I yearn to be at peace and have love in my heart. This is the type of experience I will attempt to choose over and over. Therefore, when I do feel a negative emotion or feeling, I now see these emotions as   messengers to examine what the beliefs are that underlie these feelings. If I am to shift and return to my home of peace, I must accept the offer to explore and undercover, decide and shift, if that is what I truly desire. It’s always a wake up call to get honest with myself and then see if I want to stay there or move on.

Knowing now the connection of belief and biology, what did that mean that fateful day on my treadmill and my expansive vision? Somewhere, below the denial and pain, I believed that I would be better off alone. I saw myself running on my own,  free. Did I come to trust that belief? Was I willing to risk it all to be free? I ran and I still run…FREE 🙂

 

C.S. Lewis and a Mountain of Faith

“The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just that time when God can’t give it: you are like the drowning man who can’t be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

When I was 32 years of age, I found myself alone, dehydrated, exhausted and desperately attempting to climb down the face of a large mountain on the hottest day of the year. My water had run out, the lack of shade was everywhere and yet as I looked to the distant west, I could vaguely see the area where I knew my house was sitting, waiting for me.

That was 19 years ago and now as a 51 year old woman, I once again find myself staring at this quote that I read many years ago, after my mother passed away. She died a few years after my adventure on that mountain and C. S. Lewis’s book was the only book that I found any similarity to my grief, any resemblance to the pit of darkness that was found at my core of her loss. But this quote, hit a different nerve today. This quote was the description of my desperate heart that described my spiritual journey on that mountain that day. I had prayed over and over, hour upon hour, pleading to my god and yearning for an answer to guide me down that mountain, to inspire my mind and find the path that leads to my salvation. Over and over, I heard noises and saw patches of dirt that I thought might be my answers. I continually followed the promptings that must be from god. Each time, I was led to a dead end or a dangerous direction that led to no path, no answers, no guidance, no safety.

Where was the calming, warm  feelings that have always washed  over me in the past? Where was the inspiration of heart and mind to be guided down a safe and nearby path? Where was the loving feelings from a god that had always burst from within me, like before? This was life or death for me now! I wasn’t huddled in a warm church house praying with a congregation, or praying over food with my family. I was here, alone, exhausted with 15 hours of traversing under my belt! It was so hot, not even an animal or insect was out in these conditions. Where was god then? Where was his tender mercies then? Pleading eventually changed to hopelessness, than to giving up, than to anger and fueled by that anger  a rebuking of an absent god.  It was if I saw myself lay down on the hard, hot ground and wonder to myself….this is it? this is how I end? I felt each thought, each inquiry. What did I want? What was I waiting for? Was there no entity, no person, no divine creature to save me? A deep burning bubbled up from the center of me as I realized that there would be no one, no “thing”, no savior to rescue me. If I wanted to live, then I would take the anger, confusion and pleading energy within me and get off the ground and get myself off that mountain! No longer would I wait for anything to save me again. I traversed and traveled through thick piercing  oak and hot rocky dry land until I  heard the faint sound of a stream. I quenched my anger and replaced it with gratitude as I swallowed the cold liquid of life and eventually, a worn path and hours later,  to the arms of my loved ones.

As I was driven home, I remember the shock of experiencing something I had not experienced before. Not only did I become lost, confused and endure a test of my strength and endurance but  I had begged and pleaded with god and got nothing in return. Not a goose bump, not a tingle, not anything from within to ease my pleading soul and comfort my asking heart. I had always felt “something”. I couldn’t understand that when I needed my god the most, to guide me, to save me, to help me…I got nothing in return…nothing. What did I do wrong? Why did god abandon me? Here is when I could have inserted C. S. Lewis’s pattern of thought and choose to pick the “fill in the blanks” with how unworthy or too desperate I was to hear god’s promptings and peaceful spirit. I could once again give god the benefit of my  doubt and my questioning, like I had done previously, over and over again with issues where I questioned my faith.

As I returned into my house of safety, I found myself once again on my knees. I started to pray once again and almost immediately I felt the familiar warm sweeping peaceful waves flow over me. I realized at that moment, that god had not abandoned me, that he had not refused to save me. He wasn’t an unloving god that abandons his children when they need him the most. I wasn’t an undeserving sinner that wasn’t worthy of his love or guidance. No, not at all! I realized at that moment, that those peaceful, warm flowing feelings were not from god but generated by ME, by my own BODY and the chemicals that make up my bodily system!! I had produced them when I felt safe and watched over. I had produced them when I knew I was taken care of and my safe heart could welcome god’s love. I could produce them when I heard a beautiful song or a touching speech. I could replicate peace, warmth, tingles and goose bumps over and over ONLY when I knew I was safe, warm and loved. That’s how the body works! That’s how MINE works and many millions just like me. Only,  I had been taught by my religion, what those feelings were. I was taught to define “IT” as coming from god, something good, something “out there” watching over me, some divine, unique gift of the spirit, the holy ghost.

Sure, I could choose to follow C.S. Lewis and make up multiple reasons of why my answers to my prayers were not given on that mountain. I could tell myself that my answers were given, just not in the way I was accustomed.  I could give god another “out” for my denied expectations and once again blame myself for not being an open vessel for god to communicate efficiently within.

OR, I could realize that  our bodies secrete different hormones and chemicals that are based on our emotional and stressful states. When we are at rest, the pituitary secretes a parasympathetic response and when we are stressed, our bodies respond in a sympathetic way. One leads to peace, calming hearts, joy, feelings of euphoria and love, the other leads to restriction, fear, anger, stress and narrow focus.

The Holy Ghost didn’t abandon me! I defined the holy ghost by the perfectly natural feelings that happen when we are at peace and feel safe. Based on our chemical, genetic make up, these feelings are in everyone, generated by everyone and defined by everyone in unique  ways. How we define the reasons for these feelings are included and readily accepted as we grow up in our environments and are  taught by our teachers that surround our existence, either literally or by example within our communities.  I had attributed them to a god, a holy spirit, to basically  something external all my life! I hadn’t questioned the definition of those feelings until I experienced the extreme absence and the easily replicated feelings, once home safe and sound.

The totality of this revelation wasn’t fully embraced by me for years but this day marked the beginning of that path.  Now, when I see that C. S. Lewis quote, I’m reminded of how far I have come. I learned to get myself off that mountain. I learned that no one or thing that was external from myself  was going to save me and that I had all I needed within myself to get down that mountain. I saved myself and I am no longer a victim in my life, spiritually or physically.  I take full responsibility for the choices and decisions I make. I can fully embrace others as they are without the mesh of a mystic  god to blur my view. I have never felt more peace and authenticity since that day. That day,  I refused to offer up one more excuse for an absent god. I refused to pick up another self-created beating stick to hurt myself for not being  “good enough” for god to answer my prayers and  save my life.

There is no anger, no issue to deal with here. I am not full of resentment or have feelings of being abandoned by some unloving god, only enlightenment that I can and do define the experiences I have! That is the beauty of choice. When emotions are attached to my experiences, I have the freedom to define them, however they serve me and I have found that embracing science with its evidence and replicated results bring me a joy beyond I’ve ever experienced. There is a certainty there and yet there is still room for doubt, exploration and continued openness to new evidence and new discoveries to be found.

I have found a new sense of gratitude for my ancestors who have evolved so that I may experience my slice of consciousness in this life.  I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me instead of wishing and hoping for something greater. This is great and it’s here now, with each breath. My heart and mind no longer hunger for the balm of Gilead. I find no comfort in believing that there may be something more after this life or that I will be reunited with loved ones that have gone on before. I can’t possibly know what happens after, it anything, but what I do know is that I have now, I have breath now. I see the faces of my children and my lover and I live in this moment, fully embracing them as they are… now. This life is all I have been given and I will embrace it for all it’s worth. Today is my eternity. There is nothing more promised. It is enough.

Some people may read this and become sad. They may think I’ve lost my faith and that I have refused to no longer reclaim it and in a way, they would be right. There is nothing revering to me when one claims they have faith without the realization that they have bought into the concepts that define that faith.  I have found that facts, research of evidence and an open mind to explore other explanations to be beautiful companions instead of faith.  In a way, I have a new faith. One where I need not look to be saved but to savor each breath as I walk, whether upon mountains or anywhere else this slice of consciousness takes me.

 

 

 

 

Death, a master teacher

When my mom passed away, it was a profound loss. As I felt the pain and the abyss of not having her here, I realized something that I had not before. I not only longed to see her, hold  her, kiss her and experience her but I felt the loss of having her see me as she had always done. No longer would someone look at me with unconditional loving eyes as hers. No more would I feel the warmth of her gaze and the way she saw me.

When we witness another, we are given the gift of expression. We can bring to life the emotions, desires and actions that drive us to express ourselves to the other.  It can be a hurtful and painful mirror of ourselves or a beautiful symphony of devotion and love. That was the mirror she reflected upon me, a mixture of a loving history, pure acceptance and joy. No one was like her. We are all unique. The realization is that, without her here, there is a loss that cannot be replaced. I do not get to witness her expression of love. I do not get to witness her anymore. Her face does not grow any older in my mind. She is eternally in my past. No new memories include her today. Friends I make today and my children’s  lives continue on without new memories of her. That is the reality of a death. That is the sting of the present moment.

So, we go on. We live our lives and create new memories and as we go along, we can reflect on the beautiful time when our expression could be received and witnessed by our loved one and we could actively embrace the gift of their presence. That is the beauty of life. That is why living now, in the present moment, aware and awake, that is our greatest gift to ourselves and to those around us who are our witnesses. For there will come a time, for us all, where our ability to witness and receive will end, for good.

There is a time for sadness, grief and darkness but out of the darkness of a loss comes the beautiful gratitude of having the opportunity to have witnessed one as beautiful as she. To have felt her love, even for a moment, stays with me for always. My heart delights that I was granted life and experienced the mirror she gifted to me. My hope is that those around me can see that reflection from me as well.

It seems our society doesn’t handle death very well. We look to chemicals to numb the pain or believe in fairy tales that life doesn’t end. To me this is dishonoring to those who are gone. The reality of loss, even though painful, can be embraced and infused into the experience of our existence. Coming through the darkness, into the light of gratitude is one of courage, acceptance and honoring for the beautiful one that once  took breaths with me.

An Open Relationship

(Here’s another draft that wants to come to life 🙂  )

 

I always figured myself as someone who desired an open relationship. When most people hear of an open relationship, they immediately believe that the definition of that would be that the couple has decided that it is “okay” to have sex with other people. End of story. Subject defined. Easy. Black and white. Everyone’s happy and satisfied. Ummmm….grrr….not quite….I have always been uncomfortable with that definition and feel that when I say “open”, I am saying something quite different. Yet, I have always found it difficult to put into words what I mean by my definition of “open”…until today.

Thanks to a beautiful incite reflected back to me today by my Lover, tears flowed as he was able to put into words the center of my definition of an open relationship. My Lover was sitting there, truly “seeing” me  and as his words flowed, he expressed to me an aspect of myself that sang to my soul with clarity. He told me that I do not want to go out and have sex with whoever I choose, nor would I want that for him but that if it does happen, there will be understanding and acceptance… after the fact. I need to know that I will have acceptance if or when it happens. It’s the acceptance of the behavior that is utmost in my wanting, not the freedom to have sex that is paramount to me. His words stung my heart and light expanded within my soul. Images of “wanting that” from my past love years ago came into my mind. Flashes of yearning, years ago,  for acceptance and continued love that was denied me years ago,  seemed to wrap my mind to my heart with truth.   All that my Lover was saying and understanding about me,  with non judgment,  was all that I ever needed to experience a true loving relationship. I am in awe that he knows me so deeply.   His accuracy of my intent was made clear to me with his words and it was overwhelming.

Do I want him going after other women and having sex with them??? Hell, no! If it happens and he feels safe enough to communicate his experiences with me, he will have my understanding and acceptance and vice verse. For in my acceptance and understanding, I get to love all of him, not just the part of him that I define as “safe” and “secure”. If any feelings of insecurity, jealousy or fear are felt, they are mine to be felt, accepted and examined, for my own growth. They have nothing to do with Him unless his actions were initiated from a reactive response to our relationship. Then those are his feelings and as a couple, we together, would explore further our relationship and dynamics.

It is the conventional, fearful, limiting self that believes if he experiences other people in any way he seems fit, that somewhere along that road, I will be left “without” something. It is the conventional self that creates this perspective of lack. A scarcity, if you will. When my love plays video games, am I lacking his love? When my love enjoys a good book, is that taking something from me? When he takes a dump, is he loving me less? (sorry about that 🙂 )  Than why, when he feels emotions or has feelings for someone else, do I view that as taking something away from me? I would, if I was conventional. I would if I thought he needed to “sacrifice” his feelings and desires FOR me. To PROVE to me that he’s willing to “give up” feelings, relationships, alcohol, or whatever FOR me. Talk about selfish? I’ve been accused of being selfish but conventional thinking is the most selfish of all. To expect someone to live a martyred life for Our relationship makes my skin crawl. THAT, my friend,  is selfish!  And believe me, I do believe we all have our self interests at heart and have a right to pursue our own paths but when they require someone else to change or sacrifice something in their path FOR me, true selfishness occurs and it’s not the same as self interest to me.

Where does this limiting perspective world end? What aspects of his world would I deem okay and not okay so there will be no “taking away” from me? Is it only his sexual desires or would it include his work, his love of music, his comments on Facebook,  his love for his children,  his need to use the restroom? Where would it end and who’s life is it anyway? Do we all live for someone else? There is a sense of altruism to believe that we do but in reality, we all choose our own lives and own desires and we need to realize that we define the boundaries as well. Do we have a right to demand the other an ultimatum? Of course you do, but only if you’re prepared to live that way too. It goes both ways my friends and it’s not love, that’s a business deal.

We need to take on the responsibility for our lives and our choices in perspectives as well as behaviors. If we feel we are living for someone else, we need to understand that we are defining our lives that way but it’s still living what we truly want. If I feel that another relationship I have is somehow “taking away” from my relationship with my love, I get to decide that, not Him. How can I say that? Because it is MY feelings of love, connection and commitment that defines my relationship with Him, not his.  I own my love. I am the creator of my love or distance or connection that I feel. Only I can dictate the level of that. That’s why it’s not up to me or him to dictate to each other what constitutes a loving relationship. We either feel that we are in a committed loving relationship, where each other comes first, or we do not. It’s up to each individual and our own perspectives of what is a loving relationship.

Clear communication is the key. In order for me to be able to clearly embrace all that He is, including his desires.  I would hope that he would feel safe enough with me to share his desires and his experiences, even when they don’t include me. I would desire to hear it because I want to embrace all of his experiences as well as who he is but if he chooses not to tell me, that would be who he is in our dynamic and that would be embraced as well. No one has to “show up” a certain way, even in what they feel they can share or not share.

I wish people could see how powerful they are in choosing their perspectives of a situation. We each have the power to choose a conventional perspective that comes from the space of “all about me”. It looks at a situation and the first thought is, “How am I affected by this situation?”. “Am I going to lose something or someone? Am I not enough? Am I going to have to do something different to change this from happening again? What needs am I not fulfilling for him? “What aspects of me are not measuring up?” There is a sense of injustice in a conventional view. Someone might feel, “Well, he was having all that fun and I was sitting home watching the damn kids!” My answer would be that if you feel that type of  “injustice” in your relationship than you are believing that you are living for someone else. You believe that you are somehow “sacrificing” something you really want for someone or some idea. That kind of  belief system can lead to resentment either consciously or unconsciously. It shows itself in some way in the relationship, whether we want to recognize it or not.

I have found that I am powerful enough to let the conventional perspective calm itself down and instead choose the unconventional view of what true unconditional love is all about for me.  When we choose the unconventional perspective the focus is on the other person. Your thoughts might be, “What did THEY get out of this experience? What did THEY learn from this? How do THEY feel now because of their experience? I trust in their choices. To be trusting in someone else’s journey and trust that they are choosing what is perfect for them takes a shift in perspective. It’s all about THEM. You can now become their biggest cheerleader in life! True love is loving someone for their life, not what they can do for YOUR life! Within this type of perspective, the weight is lifted to try to squeeze into what others or what I believe others should fit into. The end result of this perspective is growth, expansions and living a full life, for myself and those I am in relationship with. If, as they are doing their life, it benefits my life in some manner, than it’s extra frosting on the cake!! Having more reasons to be grateful in this world wouldn’t suck 🙂

That’s why we all need to stop taking each other for granted. Every day in each moment, each individual in a relationship can choose out, either physically or emotionally. A piece of paper won’t ever be able to change that, as in a marriage certificate or a divorce decree.

We are all powerful creators in our life. It is in our definitions, perspectives and willingness to explore inside ourselves where we can consciously choose to live in hell or heaven. The good news  is that it’s all in our hands to create whatever existence we want to live. The bad news is that it’s all in our hands to create whatever existence we want to live…heehee 🙂

So, I guess the question isn’t if I believe in an open relationship but the question is…Do you?

The Dream

 

(I’m starting to write again. This was in my drafts. Sometimes I just don’t remember writing this stuff. This needs to be published. What was I waiting for? )

How long must I see your face in my dreams? I awake relieved and saddened, for even in my dreams there are no answers. Is there something more to let go, release, reflect or re-claim? What must I learn still from the connection to my created past? My definitions, my designs, why must I sculpt your face once again? I yearn to bring the peace but in the dreaming world it is out of reach. My hands that once skillfully saved can now only hang down in resolution.

Does not my soul feel complete? Don’t I embrace my full power from within? What more must my soul behold? What experience awaits my lessons? My heart is full. My soul flies free. My arms embrace the love that was once bathed in condition. Abundance and acceptance are my beloved companions now. Why must my dreams whisper of something in the shadows?

I will continue to explore, define and create my journey and paint the pictures that ring truth to my being. I observe the world of my conscious and find no closed doors. Love or fear, which do I choose? I can see the illusion of fear, for I am safe and for always. There is no loss or pain, only if I stroke the creation of its reality with my brush. I put down the brush of fear and embrace the colors of love. What picture shall I create next? Ah, the beauty of the unknown. She smiles as I drift and…. dream.

Profound Interest

When I was getting my undergraduate degree in Psychology a few years back, I took an interpersonal relationships class taught by a powerful teacher. His name was Dr. Gardiner.  He spoke of an intimate relationship in which each person has a “profound interest” in the other. I had not heard that term before within a context of a relationship and over the years, this term has appeared over and over in my life as a guiding light for me. I see this term now as a tool for me in finding security within my most intimate relationship.

Recently, I have been wrestling with feelings of insecurity and jealousy. I have been an expert within my own mind for so long, I know that underneath all those feelings lie a blanket of fear that I seem to want to put on with frequency lately. This morning was no different.  After having an emotional laden dream about my love, I awoke with feelings of heavy dread and accompanied tightness within my gut as I recalled my detailed dream. I went through in my mind all the scenarios that cause me to feel that tightened grip on my soul. I thought of past stories and imagined future stories that would cause me to feel this way. It amazes me how the mind works…I am in awe of it and at the same time, frustrated with moments like these 😦   I recalled in my past how open, free and secure I had once felt concerning my love and felt perplexed again of how I can feel this depth of insecurity after having felt such a beautiful cocoon wrapped around me of security and confidence. I recalled no scenario where I would feel jealous, insecure or lacking. I remember having the feeling of, “Oh well, if those things happen, they were meant to happen. Nothing I could do but be all of me and trust all will work out in the end because in the end, the authentic truth of the relationship is honored above all fear.”  It seemed I had such confidence knowing the value of who I am and what my love offered. Yet, here I am, years later, struggling with that concept.

Suddenly, I heard the words, “profound interest” and I knew that above all else, I had a profound interest in my love like no other! Sure, there were others who were interested in him, to get a little taste of his charm, to feel his unabashed attention occasionally, or to check in with him when they were in need of a little guidance and wisdom.  But are they profoundly interested? I think about him during the day, wonder how his day is going, believe in his journey, desire for his goals and dreams to come true and desire that I am a part of that every day. I cherish the nights we get to be together, laughing, eating and exchanging wisecracks or serious discussions on relationships and freedom. He comes home to me every night and some of those nights are filled with passion and ectasy beyond any other experience of my life. I desire to grow old with this man, to be by his side, holding his hand down the path of twilight. It’s his lips I want on mine as I take my last breath. I am in love with his soul, who he is beyond the made up definitions we use to define ourselves and our place in the world.

My security does not lie in the external world or even in any external relationship. It is not determined by the actions or feelings of others.  My profound interest is the gift of security I give myself. It is mine, I own it, I feel it and when I fully embrace it, I  fully express it. If he finds some joy in this gift that is expressed, my fullness expands. It’s possible that another will show up in his life and experience profound interest as well and he for them. If it shows up in a deeper way for him, how beautiful for him. As painful as It would be for me, I trust his journey, with or without me.

Profound interest in another is rare and a gift that deserves to be cherished and celebrated. I celebrate my profound interest and I am forever grateful for this experience to love another in such a deep, authentic way.  Thank you my love, for the gift of your profound interest as well 🙂  and thank you Dr. Gardiner, wherever you are. Your words still guide me today. I am forever grateful!

Watching “LOST” and finding a treasure :)

It’s funny, I just got done watching a past episode of LOST on my new tablet, which I find thoroughly enjoyable and recommend highly during one’s day off ☺ Who knew I could be so inspired to write after watching a little ole t.v. show? Anywho, the episode ended with the lead character being asked to push a button that may or may not lead to the destruction of the island that they are stranded on.

The idea, of avoiding destruction, was presented to them through an old film about how a countdown process was to be repeated and a saving button was to be manually pushed, on a computer, every 90 minutes or so. A man, discovered in this cave-like lab, had been pushing the button for the last three years! He had left, so it was up to the people who had found this underground lab to make it happen. The lead character, from the beginning, questioned the reasoning behind the process. What would happen if they didn’t? How did they know for sure it would cause destruction? Maybe this was all a huge experiment to see if the humans would continue pushing a button with little to go on but someone else’s wishes and directions? He questioned and doubted the source from the beginning.

In the end, given the last second, the lead character was talked into pushing the button. The other character told him it was a leap of faith. This triggered something inside of me.

How fine a line it is between fear and hope when it comes to the definition of FAITH. There immediately came to me two perspectives on this subject. One could view the button pushers as having faith in a process that guarantees survival and having the hope to take action in order to continue this hope and call it faith. The other perspective I saw was that the button pushers were full of fear. They were not willing to take the risk and experience the truthfulness of the process. They would much rather stay “safe” than experience the consequence of the truth. In this episode faith is something attached to hope and goes along with pushing the button, “just in case”, the button really did cause destruction. If they pushed the button, it showed that they had enough hope that they would be safe instead of “giving up” and taking a huge RISK on everyone’s mortality. It seemed to me that the faith promoting, “push the button” path was revered above the “doubting” path of the non-pusher.

I would beg to differ, however. I see now that because the button was pushed, the people are continually “tied” to the button and their world will stay small, confined to the area of the cave and the button, so as not to go too far from the button. I see that their choice to push the button can be seen as being fearful, not faithful and not hopeful. They are fearful of the “what if’s” in their world. Their desire to preserve “safety”, in whatever manner possible, is much stronger than their willingness to “let go” and accept what may come as the countdown goes to zero. They put their hope and faith in the outcome of the process. In other words, they are attached to the outcome, NOT in the truthfulness of the process.

The non-pushers doubt the process and doubt the source and are not revered in the world of the button pushers. They doubt the truthfulness of the messages given. They are not so willing to blindly believe the “story” that is placed before them. They are seen as hopeless, as one who gives up, gives in and not strong enough to “hold on” to the only “sure” way to keep everyone continually living. “Just push the button!” they plead. “If you just push the button, we will all be safe!” the button pushers exclaim. “Show some faith, show some hope, like we do!” they exhort.

In addition, it seems in my world that the fear-based button pushers are most often revered as spiritual, faithful, hopeful, strong and true. These people hang on to traditions, cling to the aging stories that they hope are true and define their lives by the amount of times they’ve pushed the button. At the end of the day, they are always aware of the button nearby, ready to push it when needed and call it “faith” once again.

I once lived in a world of button pushers. I was a button pusher until I felt that I was ready to “let go” of the outcome and take the risks, even if it meant my spiritual death. I was ready to embrace whatever happened as I refused to push the button. This took more strength and courage from within me then I had ever experienced in my “safe” world of buttons.

I ran and ran, not from fear, not from sin, not from justification….I ran because I COULD! My spirit soared as I ran further and further away from my self-induced concept of a “button”. I ran because I no longer needed to protect my imagined hopes. I ran to embrace the “what if’s” in my life. I ran to welcome the unknown and experience whatever consequences appear before me.

I still find myself, from time to time, starting to create a button or two in my life. As I do, I wake up…take a step back and smile once again as I turn to walk and then to run and then to fly…

I realize now that the man who ran away, who had been pushing that button for three years, was not running away in fear, he was running away into freedom. He wasn’t running away FROM anything but was running TOWARDS freedom. He was finally able to just “go” without feeling the heavy weight of pushing the button again. He was ready and willing to “let go” of the outcome, if the button is pushed by someone else or not pushed. It didn’t matter to him anymore. He was done depending on survival by a system that may or may not be true. He was willing to accept whatever outcome came. He was free.

Are you free?