growth

When Manifesting Your Soulmate Doesn’t Work Out…

I’m having a really sad day, friends. My heart is broken completely.
Two years ago I completed the workbook, Calling in the One: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. And y’know what? It worked.

I met my him at a holiday work event for the industry I work in. He came over to me and said my name so profoundly, like he meant it. I looked at him, leaned in to see his nametag and I said his in return. Then I looked up in his eye and felt like I got punched in the chest.
I walked away.
I didn’t know what that meant. What was that feeling in my heart?

My intuition is spot on, all the time. This was big. He was someone important for me, for sure.

After a brief chat with some people i knew, I got the courage to go back and start a conversation with him. I complimented his pants. He’s an impeccable dresser. We exchanged laughs and a whole lot of knowledge. And business cards.
A few days later I get an email from him, asking if I would like to get together and see what else we might be able to talk about other then the correct pronunciation of my hometown.
He is also very, very witty.

Shoot forward a couple of weeks and our first date was a blast! He picked me up at 7 for dinner and I think we stayed out 3am! We had great dinner, conversation, we ended up at a bar kissing to Prince. The staff talked to us like they thought we’d been together a long time.
We just fit.

Well, what was the happiest, most joyful, fulfilling, truly loving and caring relationship I had ever experienced changed shortly after he got a new job contract. And it was big. I was happy for him, truly. But time became scarce. Attention even less. Slowly our dream-like love began to dissipate.
I remember one day last June or July, looking forward to spending the day together and being shocked when all he wanted to do was watch his favorite TV show, that I’d never seen, and he didn’t care whether I wanted to watch it or not. Or even if I hung around to watch it with him.

Some folks say that people never change.
People change man. They do.

Though, I could also ask, “Was this a change in him? Or is this just also who is and how he occurs sometimes?” I think both could be true.

It didn’t take long for me to end our relationship the first time. He clearly just stopped doing all the things that love does.

“You’ve gotta learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served” Nina Simone

get up love no longer being served.jpg

Today, one year later and after a years' worth of "still trying," I am still heartbroken. But I have learned so much. I don’t believe I ever ever loved anyone as hard, as enduringly, as deeply as him. And maybe I will again. Maybe I won’t.
But the thing about soulmates is that they are people too. You may meet yours and they may not want the same thing as you.

Funny, how it never occurred to me that I really could Call In the One
And he may not want to be with me. 
Not everyone wants their soulmate.

I still do. But I will still date and find love, regardless.
A love that doesn’t leave the table.

About an hour ago I went to a local cafe and bought a huge piece of German Chocolate Cake, which i wholly plan to demolish later this evening.
I shared with the young man behind the counter that I was heartbroken and said to me,

“I know your heart hurts. But there is one part of your heart that doesn’t hurt. Focus on that part.”

Oh, how I love West End, Atlanta.
I will friend, I most definitely will.

I Could Not Fall In Love Again If I Tried...

This is not a desperate statement or one that should bring about sympathy from anyone. I do not need "saving."

Listen:

I've fallen in love three times. I'm 33. What is the significance of the number 3? I have no clue, but if you know feel free to comment. 

The first time I fell in love, I was blind. Not due to injury or literal loss of sight. But I was blind to myself and blind to him. One cannot love another if they don't love themselves first, just as one cannot know another if they do not first know oneself. 
We got caught up in physical attraction and very late night debates on the back of a ship in the middle of the ocean. One night we slept outside under the stars, hands to ourselves, but with untrained hearts.

When I moved to Atlanta to be with him, he all of a sudden "didn't want anything serious." As if a move across the country isn't already a serious thing, but I digress. 
It is not healthy to start a relationship with an ultimatum. I know that now but 24 year old me was fed up. So I said, "I'm not going with you to this event if you're going to introduce me as your friend." And I was prepared to not go. He chose to take me and so i became his "girlfriend." Kind of a stressful way to proclaim "relationship" but we need to ask for what we want. And so I did.

Two years of good followed by two years of awful leaves a lot of wreckage in the heart. And the body. My chest, a harbor full of broken ships, planks, shapnel. Could not see the ocean floor through the remains of what we were trying to build. And so I left. In order to rebuild myself.

The second time I fell in love I was just ripe for sky flying souls meeting in the clouds to make love. We free wrote to each other. For months. Now if that won't do it to a poet, I dunno what will. But there was no editing, no deletions allowed, just full and open words. We wrote until we were finished and hit 'send.' Talk about cultivating intimacy! I now know to not do that with anyone who isn't committed to sticking around for whatever is to come. 

I learned the pain of falling in love with someone who wasn't in love with me. What a tragedy. A writhing ache, snaking its way through your body, til it makes you sick. And contemplative. Depressed and alone. Til it turns you into a yogi. 
This is what happens when you grow love and intimacy without legs. Or a ground. It is a cloud, just waiting to burst or become fog and rain away. 
Don't do this. I really wouldn't recommend it.

The third time I fell in love I was legs but no feet. No ground underneath me. Walking like that is wobbly. Carrying the dried out wood and straw, the old news chronicles of pain in your chest leaves you susceptible to fire. You can burn wildly like that. But that doesn't mean you should.

I fell without realizing the fall. My heart an upturned smile, the hopeful face of a child. His too. 
At least this time it was mutual, but it didn't last. We had both been burned before meeting each other, so we were both pretty easy to lift. This time at least it felt like ascendance but we showed up with no ground, so when we fell out:  there was nothing there. No front steps to rest our shoes on. No welcome mat. Not even a door. 

***

I think falling in love, in how we talk about it, in how we see it on TV and portrayed in the media is an accidental, decision-less thing. This is not the kind of beginning that anyone can expect to build on. And while occasionally we hear stories of those who did, who could, who were successful at that - they are rare, are they not? How many of us actually know a real story of two people we actually know who have been successful at that. Who's relationship survived?

Those stories belong mostly to our grandparents. Perhaps a few of our parents too, but not many. Our grandparent's generation was one with more patience, more time, less distraction. Having most likely not grown up with TV, or color TV for that matter, which proliferated in the 60's and 70's, they would have relied more upon learning about relationships and love through conversation. Or watching their family members and friends trials and tribulations. 

TV really does us an injustice with it's fantastical, romantic, whirlwind romance portrayals with little to no substance. These are not places we can build from. In this storyline we can fall - in love - we can feel like we're flying, we can let our hearts go but when they come back to us what do we have left? Reality? Which may or may not feel like love.

Love is a way. Not a thing out of reach that escapes us. We can cultivate love in our lives every day with the people around us. By being responsible friends, by practicing kindness, generosity, honesty, integrity and by practicing these things also with ourselves. We do not have to lack love just because we are not in love. We can build a solid ground beneath us. A foundation with which to rest on and walk and grow from. 

If we do this it becomes our source of life and from which we can grow. When we do this we will realize that falling makes no sense. It is a risk not worth taking. We have too much beneath us now to be so frivolous with our hearts. 

It is form this place that I write and from this place that falling makes no sense. 
I prefer to build.

 

 

 

 

How I'm Not Actually Hating Dating Right Now

Dating sucks in the U.S. I'm sure it sucks elsewhere too but I have no experience with that. 
I've written 1000 times about how much I hate it so no need to continue the long list of reasons here and recreate the diatribe
(you can scroll through previous posts or click the tag-thingy on "dating is stupid" if you really wanna see, yeah? Word.)

So here's how I'm all of a sudden NOT hating dating:  I think I'm finally doing it right.

But let me unpack that first before some of you get all judge-y like, "well what WERE you doing" type ish...

There are some very common, widespread and sometimes seemingly unbreakable/unbendable social conventions. I think how we date seems to be one of those, or has seemed to be that way to me at least. (Keeping in mind: woman, patriarchy, specific gender norms, etc...) 

The way I've dated or participated in this weird process so far has included, y'know, a dude sayin' he likes me, or I like him - largely before either of us knew anything about the other, right? Which means it's really just an expression of physical attraction, maybe energetic attraction, but that's it. So once that's established begins the text messages, phone calls, actual dates where you go spend time together doing something. Hopefully something cool. In my experience, a dude who does not try and kiss me by the 2nd or 3rd date has been an anomaly. Some try on the first. Sometimes i've let them, sometimes I haven't. But overall I've kinda just went along with this approach. I never really tried to date differently. Seemingly caught under some blind acceptance, that I think I was largely unaware of, that 'this is just how it's done.'

In essence, I never really questioned it much. Not the process, the ways of men, the social mores, the expectations I often felt pressured by to be a certain way, (i.e. "ladylike" or overall agreeable), to do certain "ladylike" things, etc. I did begin to push back against a lot of that roughly 5ish years ago when I had a personal revolution. (Yay Me.) But I never revisited the dating process or tried to qualitatively change the way I date. Or even develop a way that I could date that made more sense and felt better to me. 

I was still learning. Still am...

But in all,  I'll say in short:  Right now I am dating a little. Having enjoyed the company of a specific gentleman on 6 or 7 or 8 occasions.
He has yet to try and kiss me.
I have never genuinely loved dating so much as I do right now.

:)

The end. 

Love-volution

Originally penned/pubished:  Jan 29, 2016

 

I’m so grateful to have so many different varieties of people in my life. I have a very varied friend-group, colleagues, acquaintances, people I know who live far and I don’t see but I love and connect with somehow…

Someone once made a comment that I had a very varied group of friends.

Then later said, “you are a combination of your 5 closest friends” – which I think is quite true.

But I think beyond your inner circle those you keep around you still say a bit about who you are, what you admire, who you can sometimes be, and maybe what you might grow into…

I’m writing this because I recently realized how much I really cherish effort. I have been, y’know, sorta-kinda-somewhat-maybe-not-entirely-but-almost-kinda-seeing-someone-and-maybe-it’ll-never-be-serious-but-I-think-we’re-both-learning-here… type thing.

And loving the learning process without any kind of pressure. This someone is very different for me. My friends have noted. And they’re right. The someone can sometimes be abrasive, brash, totally un-PC (not that I always am by any means tho…), blunt, crass… y’know, all the best things, lol

(I actually quite appreciate these qualities, even if all of my friends don’t, but anyway…)

This someone is certainly not perfect right. But is anyone?

One thing I noted to my friends the other night though was effort.

I find it funny that despite the critique that 1 or 2 of my friends have shared of the someone, that the someone has genuinely put in more effort into our non-relationship than my last ex ever did in almost 1 1/2 years. This is a someone who isn’t necessarily committed, right? A someone who is moving clear across the country like… in 2016 sometime. A someone who, who knows?!

But a someone with who we’re just enjoying each other, whenever. And learning too, along the way.

But man… effort man… Effort.

My last ex – many would say is probably one of the nicest men they have ever met. And he is. Genuinely kind and good hearted. Wouldn’t hurt a fly unless it was a zombie-fly trying to eat the brains of one of his loved ones…. you know…

But kindness can only take you so far. I know this. I often say, “there’s never anything wrong with being

nice'” – a phrase my Dad once told me years ago, that I’ve kept because, well, he’s right. Even if you don’t agree with someone, you can still be nice.

But relationships require more than ‘nice.’

And I think I’m learning how much ‘nice’ matters. And how much compared to other things.

I think I pick hard work and effort any day over ‘nice.’

(I’m from Massachusetts. We’re not always nice. But we do work our a**es off.)

So, I’m grateful for effort. For work. The hard work. The not-sexy kind of work that people do every day to accept others, to learn others, to become better versions of themselves and to try and understand folks who might not be just like them.

I’m grateful to myself and my open mind, that I’m willing to give aa chance to someone who wouldn’t seem like someone I’d normally date or ‘not-date-but-chill’ or whatever…

There are so many different forms of value. So many ways that can be valued by all of us. If we are willing to see…

I’m grateful I can see that.

Here’s to not keeping love out, for all the yielding that would take…

To practicing love and increasing joy, wherever you can find it.

And to finding it nearly everywhere.

No One’s Leaving Should Be A Threat

Originally penned/published: Jan 4, 2016

 

greatest-gift.jpg

I like this quote, but I don’t love it. I found this the other day while browsing quotes on freedom for the previous post. I’ve been thinking a bit about acceptance lately in relationships. No one is perfect. And there are some people who, for me at least, I just have a hard time being around. For whatever reason, something in their personality is a rub for me. But in our close relationships, everyone we love is going to drive us crazy at some point.

I just finished a 6-day trip with my best friend. I know I drove her crazy at times, and she drove me crazy too. But at the end of it, through humor and silliness, we are able to shrug off any irritations from each other and still have an amazing time and come home still loving one another.

I watched my parents over the last two days as well. They both have ways in their personalities that irritate each other. And you could see it pop up almost daily, in small doses. But they let it go.

And that’s beautiful.

What I don’t like about this quote, however is “without the threat of you leaving.” I guess, that’s fair maybe for our closest relationships, the one’s we’ve committed to, but I see this more applicable in an every day kind of way. So I re-fashioned it a little:

 

the-greatest-gifts-you-can-give-someone-is-the-space-to-be-themselves-acceptance-of-who-they-are-inspiration-to-achieve-their-dreams-and-plenty-of-room-to-grow-even-if-their-growth-i.jpg

 

I think I value more the human’s ability to fully self actualize, to pursue their dreams, to find where it is they really need to be and among whom much more than I do committment. (Oof. This may lead to another post but let’s get back on track for now): Not everyone you meet and join up with for a while is going to be on your journey for the long run. And even those who are, sometimes the distance changes. As we grow, we change, and sometimes that means we need to leave.

I don’t think anyone’s leaving should be a threat.

Really, it’s a message. Could be one of many:

This place/relationship no longer serves me

OR

There is something I need to pursue that is of ultimate importance, so I cannot stay

OR

Maybe there is not another thing or place or venture I have to go to…. but I can just tell that this place is not right for me.

In short, I just don’t think we should take it as a threat when anyone leaves us. There are always reasons and lessons. And sure, it may be sad, it may hurt a lot! But I believe people need to do what they need to do and they ought to be able to feel supported and accepted in their pursuit of their full selves. Even if that means leaving…

…but maybe I am a just a super-individualist. Or a claustrophobe. Or a runner. Or a changeling.

Or I just really, really, really love feeling free.

Good Day family.

Practicing the Responsibility of Freedom…

Originally penned/published:  Jan 2, 2016

So far in this new year I’ve been thinking a lot on freedom. The concept of freedom, what that means to me and what it looks like, how freedom acts within my body… whether or not that action is always good…

I’ve also been thinking on the consequences of feeling a lack of freedom in certain areas of my life as well as wondering if it’s possible to have too much freedom…. or what having more freedom might mean in regard to freedom’s opposite… whatever that is…

Lol, anyway here we go! I’ve got a lot of quotes and messages and images on my phone about freedom. When my phone starts up there is a message that I programmed in there that says, “Practice Your Freedom” – a phrase I saw a friend write on Facebook some time ago that really resonated with me. But I think I am wondering and needing to better learn how, and how to do that well.

My favorite quote on love is, “You should love in such a way that the person you love feels free” by Thich Nhat Hanh. I find freedom and comfort in the company of my friends and family with whom I can be fully and completely myself. I think that, essentially, is the essence of true freedom for me: To be able to be completely, 100% authentically myself without fear of negative repercussions.

I think I pretty much have that in my personal life. Professionally, I think, is where I would like to have more of that. Since my work has taken a bit of a larger role in my life now to date, I feel like I am sacrificing more by being “on” more often and in a more significant way.

And, yes, I do think it’s worth it for all of the good that I am able to do in my work. But I also feel like after a few years of it, I’m going to seriously need more freedom. More time just being myself, without having to impress or convince or fundraise or… I think I could end up burnt out.

I also came across this quote this morning on Pinterest:

And I think that’s the rub. Y’know, my soul is not a hologram of my resume + cover letter, it doesn’t wear blazers and heels, it isn’t always proper and it’s language ain’t always PG.

I like the freedom to be fully expressive. And I feel a bit cornered at times by not always being able to be that way.

Eventually, I think I am working toward self employment. This is an interesting discovery period, however, in finding out what that will look like, what I will incorporate, what kinds of activities really feed my soul and help me feel most free and most empowered.

But at present, without having all of that knowledge yet, I am currently reflecting on the below:

It takes great bravery to exercise great freedom. And a LOT of self knowledge to do it well and masterfully. And in a healthy way. I know there are ways I’ve been poisoning myself: Drinking too much, Not eating very well a little too frequently…

And other ways of just not living up to my full potential. So for now, I’m going to explore that.

You can find me where I’ll be finding more of myself:

Practicing freedom and practicing love.

It's Not That Difficult, You're Just Doing It Wrong

Originally penned/published:  April 29, 2013

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ll begin with a bit of dialogue between myself and a colleague on Friday:

“Marriage is difficult.”

I nod my head, “So I hear.”

“No, it’s really, REALLY DIFFICULT.”

Nod head some more, “Okay.”

I have never been married. Fair enough. But I have a very close example in my life of two people who are married and who are gloriously happy. Granted, it’s not perfect. Nothing ever is. It is not a dream-sequence. But its good, damnit. REALLY good. And I’m sure it took work. Still TAKES work. But growing takes work. And I definitely know all about that.

My concern here was the tone in his voice and the persistence in his speech. Yeah, I get it. Marriage is hard. So I’ve heard. Yep. But we all know that. You knew that going in! Anyway, he proceeds to tell me about his schedule. How he used to travel twice a month and since he’s been married (which, I believe is somewhere between 9-12 months) he’s only been away twice. I, personally, think that’s striking and I wonder why he hasn’t been away more.

He continues with, “It takes compromise. Sacrifice”

I nod. I know this.

But he says these like they’re REALLY SERIOUS things. Like… like maybe he’s compromising or sacrificing too much. Perhaps he is? I think about the travel. Sure, I imagine when one marries they may need to make changes. You lose a little bit of the freedom you once had. And especially when there’s a child involved. But, generally speaking, I think as individuals we ought to watch HOW MUCH we compromise and what things. There are some things you must maintain for your sanity. Emotional health. For your overall well-being. Those things, I would argue, are not really compromise-able. A healthy and happy Joe Black, single, is better than an unstable, overworked, exhausted, and stressed-beyond-belief Joe Black, married.

I would also argue that we’ve gotta watch out for our people. Our friends, family, and most definitely lovers or partners, to ensure that they’re still healthy post-whatever life changes they’ve made. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re unhappy until we’re already there. But as friends, family members, and yes, even as someone’s lover or partner, we can realize when they’re not happy. And we have to have the confidence and the trust and the better judgement, and damnit, the maturity to share our observations. And then the willingness to RE-compromise, renegotiate really, if things aren’t working well for both parties. And be okay with it. Use it as a growth opportunity.

Growing is good. It hurts. But it’s good.

You cannot compromise the things you love. They must be incorporated.

 

And sooooooo you all know how I feel about dating. I think it’s f*cking stupid. At least the typical American style of dating.

It’s dumb. Really. No, no really. It’s really, really dumb.

lol

And here’s why. It’s because it has “roles.” And people actually subscribe to that and then become them, own them… I mean, are we in a play now? Is this a movie? You = doorholder/payer (sometimes) and your role is to impress me. Be kind, seem strong, give the impression that you’re financially stable or perhaps “well-off” if you so feel. You should be reasonable and even tempered…

And then here’s me: I’m sweet. Docile. I wear a dress. I let you open doors. I am agreeable, supportive, pretty….

Ugh.

Have you ever heard of anything SO BORING????

Are we supposed to just pretend like we’d be the perfect wife or husband??? Give me a break. No wonder why there’s this “honeymoon period” in so many American relationships. BECAUSE EVERYONE’S PRETENDING!!!

F*ck that.

So why am I bringing this up again?

So I recently started “seeing someone” – you could say – orrrrr however you wanna say that. It’s new, there is no title, but we shared that we’re not seeing anyone else… and so yeah. And I kinda don’t want to see anyone else. At least not at this time.

So anyway… so yesterday a friend texted me to see if I wanted to go to brunch. Or, at least I thought he was a friend. I replied that I would love to (I love going to brunch btw) but I was cooking brunch for someone already. Then I followed with the whole I’m-seeing-someone-now-so-any-future-outings-must-be-strictly-platonic…. And honestly… I liked this person. And previous outings hadn’t really been overly non-platonic. I think we kissed once. When we were drunk. Lol. But I was hoping for a strictly platonic future outing. I value this person. And I have many male friends. The male-female friend thing is not impossible at all to me, it’s quite a good reality actually. Most women make me crazy. But anyway, I was surprised to receive a message back saying, “My bad. I won’t bother you anymore.”

Jesus.

Really?

  1. You’re not a bother. If you were, I would’ve told you long ago to leave me alone, but more importantly

  2. You really have no interest in being my friend. Geez…. Wow. Thanks. (<— note the sarcasm)

So here’s my sadness to all this. When meeting people, as a single woman, I honestly approach everyone as a potential friend. (if I find out they’re legitimately crazy or just do awful, awful things… Then no. We won’t be friends.) But I approach everyone with the concept of finding out what they’re about: their visions/dreams, their goals, values, their work, integrity, their peace…. I’m always curious to learn something from someone. And so…. Man… I guess I become sad when I find out later that they did not have the same approach as I. They weren’t genuinely interested in knowing me.

I guess, though, there’s really not much of a reason to be sad, there’s just a reason to grow:  know that not everyone is or even wants to be your friend. And that the people who really want to be in your life, and the people who belong there, will be present and will stay. Everyone else…..??? They’re probably not the best for you. Have faith in that.

Okay, maybe it’s not typical American dating that I’m so frustrated with but perhaps the typical American…

So in reflection on my colleague – this morning I was thinking about his comments and his conclusion:  he whisked off to Costa Rica for 4 days, against the wishes of his wife, to rest, recuperate, rejuvenate… I also wondered why she didn’t want him to go. The man is visibly exhausted. Shoot, I wanted him to go. It’s clear he needed to get away.

And while eating breakfast this morning and listening to my best friend/roommate’s phone conversation with a supervisor, and her subsequent complaints after…. Which were a little irritating to me first thing in the morning but I listened… I thought, “maybe it’s not so difficult at all…. Maybe you’re just doing it wrong.”

I finished my coffee, breathed the irritability out and re-found my peace.

So in reflection:

Breath in.

(finish your coffee)

Breath out.

Re-find your peace.

And keep friendship first.

Be good, good people.

<3