Monthly archives "November 2018"

once upon a time….

The preamble to many a tale. The opener to embarking on an adventure. The words we all know very well.

Page after page, chapter after chapter, volume after volume; we write our ‘once upon a time’s. Settings, characters, plots, sub-plots, twists, cliffhangers, to-be-continueds; they’re all there. The narratives, created every day, poetically by every breath we take.

What are the stories we tell? The stories of our tales and adventures? The ones we identify with. The ones we attach to. The stories we remember when we think of who we are; who we’ve become. What are those stories?

We are all an audience to these stories. We are an audience to our own stories. Often, they are narratives of victimhood. We tell the stories of our brokenness. We replay these stories continuously, on a loop in our minds. We create an identity by them. We relate with them and we perpetuate them.

That loop is not our full story. It’s not all of who we are, yet it’s often the part we go back to. We revisit those parts over and over until the pages get blurred as to if we wrote the story or if the story is now writing us. We find familiarity there, in that remembered character. And, even when we move onto to the next chapter, we keep to our character; the one that has been hurt. We get good at feeling not good. We, almost, ensure that amidst the differing backdrops, casts and plots, we find a way to play the same character. The character we’ve convinced ourselves to be.

Where are our stories of Love?

Every page authors who we are, and to tear out the ones we wished weren’t there, would leave our book incomplete. Our hands would feel the spaces in between the pages; removing them would be to remove a part of us. But, not only do we leave those pages intact, we bookmark them, we underscore them, we return to them time and time again to remind us of what was. Yet, in our Heart, we want to write something different of what is. Of what will be.

Tell the stories of Love. Remember them. Relive them. Become them. That is what I write into my Heart. That is the character I cast for myself. The one that has experienced Love far bigger and more powerful than anything under the moon and stars. The one that has felt meaning, purpose, beauty, selflessness, vulnerability, accountability and strength beyond measure. The hugs, the smiles, the commitment and the connection. That is the story I tell of myself and my life. Not of what was, but of what is and of what is to come back to me; Love. That is my true story. I won’t ignore the pages from the in between, but I won’t retell them. I won’t rewrite them.

We are meant to write our story so as to live that story. Each page is you. I am choosing to re-read the good pages. I am choosing to write the good pages. The ones that make my Heart feel bigger than the Universe and deserving of all the Love it can hold. I’ve felt what it is and I know that is the real story. That’s what I go back to, not the parts in between. I am grateful for all of the pages because of their part in my story but my story is more. My story is one that is bigger, it is one of Love.

Be Love.

good grief

Chuck may have been onto something there.

A dissertation on grief may likely, in fact, be a bottomless suitcase that could be unpacked til the end of time. And, time would probably win before you got to the bottom of it all.

When presented with this expanse of perception, I choose to let go of understanding what is. I say “perception” because that’s what experience and emotion is. That’s really what most experiences are; how we perceive them to be. Often, however, our emotional reaction leads us into the perception of whatever it is we’re experiencing. If something feels negative, like grief, our perception of it translates into something bad. Something we don’t want. Something that doesn’t appear to be useful or productive. And, when I find that I encounter an experience that can encompass a whale-sized amount of emotion and perception, I do my best to let go of understanding it all. The left brain has a hard time on these waters.

The void exposed with a lack of understanding is filled with feeling. But, it’s not emotional feeling that fills the space, rather it’s foundational feeling. Emotional feeling is very reactive; it’s very in-the-moment, which is not to say it can’t last for an indeterminate amount of time. We can, certainly, have an in-the-moment response to something that lasts much longer than that specific moment. What foundational feeling is, is the layer beneath where the emotional response came from; it’s like understanding by feeling. It’s not the reactive type. It’s, actually, stronger and more telling. Probably more complex. However, maybe as simple to undercover as to ask yourself the question, “why am I really feeling this?”. There’s a likely opportunity that the answer you receive to that question being a different feeling than the feeling you’re actually outwardly experiencing. The challenge is that when we are grief stricken, we won’t be able to hear an answer much other than that of the grief.

We all have an opportunity to grieve, always.

Perception. Grief is our emotional feeling response to something happening that we didn’t want or plan to happen. It’s our emotional feeling response to a change that we perceive to be negative; the loss of a job, heartbreak, death of a loved one. I’m certainly not here to debate any of those life events to be bad or not bad. Nor am I here to convince anyone that the emotions brought about by any of those to be unfounded or unwarranted. None of those instances are good. I do not think or believe otherwise. They can be confusing, hurtful, debilitating, depressive and, sometimes, unrecoverable.

What I want to challenge is that it’s not the actual event or experience that causes us suffering, it’s the perception. What if grief were good? What if it represented growth and progress? What if it signified movement into a further emotional evolution? You would still experience grief, and should still experience grief, but would remove the negative association from it. Grief is borne by attachment. It may sound callous and cold, but grief is our autonomic response to the involuntary severing of an attachment. Rightfully, it’s not going to feel good. When life seems to be out of our control, the feeling is often not one of peace and positivity. Even in the instance whereby the deattachment is of our choosing, pain will usually still follow. It is because of our response to the loss of the connection. It’s real. The dissection of the mechanism of grief is not an attempt to be robotic; the attachment is true. The disconnection of the hardwired maps in our brains and hearts disrupts what is familiar. It upsets what we are used to. That’s just human reality on the plane of this existence. It’s important to live through it. It’s part of having a mind and a heart. The goal is not to become desensitized to grief, but rather the exact opposite. It’s too get more acquainted with it. So acquainted with it that you shift past the emotional feeling layer and delve deeper into it. Willingly. With self Love and self care.

I say that “we all have the opportunity to grieve, always”, because grief is about change. We experience change everyday in any number of ways we perceive and do not perceive. When change pulls grief from us, we live there, for whatever duration, with whatever fierceness. There is neither a right or wrong to it. Grief is not something to be circumvented or sped through. Grief, perhaps, can be about understanding. But, I know for sure it is about feeling. There is spirituality in grief. And, on the spiritual path, which we all travel to some degree throughout our lives, there is no “like” or “don’t like”. We see the path for what it is trying to teach us. Because we choose to like or dislike what the lesson is, doesn’t change the lesson. And so, maybe the lesson behind grief is change and not to change the lesson of grief?

Be Love.

“people”….ugh. i mean, hug.

People. They’re everywhere. At work, the grocery store, in front of you at the bank machine, even your home. Everywhere you look; people. There’s no escaping them!

And, I’m grateful for that.

People have been, and continue to be, the greatest teachers in my life.

I’ve learned from all kinds of people. Big people. Little people. Those with the intention to teach me and those that had no idea they were. People that were kind and people that were not. Close, cherished people and unknown strangers; forever to remain that way. Those who have Loved me and those who have hurt me. All of those people have taught me something, have given me something; a lesson, a message, a direction. They’ve all, at some point, worked at the same school dedicated to teaching me about what I’m supposed to learn in this life. A school I choose to attend.

People will be, undoubtedly, our greatest trials and our greatest triumphs. They will help us the most and they will hurt us the most. Both, more than capable of supplying countless lessons of growth and evolution. In fact, both necessary for our growth and evolution.

Almost everything I know, I’d say, was because of someone else. And, almost everything I’ve felt, too. People have taught me patience and taught me urgency. People have taught me calm and taught me chaos. I’ve learned compassion. I’ve learned empathy. I’ve learned how to see things in a hundred ways I could have never seen on my own. I’ve learned when to fall apart and I’ve learned resilience. Most of all, I’ve learned how to Love. Including myself.

People are everything. Why? Because of Love. And, what are people if not beacons of Love? Even the worst of us was put here to make one choice; how big will you Love in this lifetime? We are, each one of us, surrounded by seven billion beacons of Love. Do you have the right to think that the selfish, the inconsiderate, the unkind and the unfair are far from that light? Yes. But those people who stitch a seam in the fabric of your life in that manner are not meant to be beacons of Love in and of themselves. They are meant to conjure up the beacon of Love that shines in you. That is the choice you are empowered to make. How big will you Love in this lifetime?

We need each other. Love needs us and we need Love. Not everyone that treads this planet will leave Love in the footprints behind them. But, every one of us is an opportunity for Love. To those you meet that are the trials in your life, Love them. Silently. From within. Find the space that is created to Love yourself. And, to those that are the triumphs, to those you cross paths with that forever take up residence in your Heart; Love them to the moon and back. Be a beacon so bright and Love so big that the universe needs to make adjustments for you.

Be Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

can i see your id, please?

The greater the distance we travel into this life, the greater, it seems, we carry with us. We accumulate our identity. Through experience, success, challenges and tribulations, we define who it is that we are. Or perhaps, we allow it to define who it is that we are. We become the businessperson, the philanthropist, the parent, the caregiver, the teacher, the student, the victor, the victim. What we become, we come to be.

Like a dictionary definition, consistent and unwavering each and every time it is read, the image of our self too becomes imprinted. Constructed and imprinted. As we build our identity like the floors of a skyscraper, whether each storie tells a different story or the next level only heightens the one before it, our structure becomes precarious. What seems as though should represent strength and power, doesn’t. It creates expectation, stress, anxiety and, ultimately, misalignment of the self.

As we build taller and taller, we can only believe that for the structure to come down, it would be nothing less than catastrophic. It would erase who we had become to that point in life, exposing it for us to see that it is not truly who we are.

Is it to say that what you’ve created in your lifetime is not meaningful? No. It is meaningful. It is a part of your legacy; a part of how you share your physical presence here. But, it is not you. Why is this true? Because what you have become was a choice that was made. You were you before that choice and you will be you after the choice.

We feel like we find ourselves in the choices. But, we more lose ourselves in them. We search for an identity. We focus on the choices as a purpose of accomplishment and when we achieve them, they can become expectation of the self. The choices can become obligation and a false sense of security. All this being said, who we become, the choices we make, create the beautiful beings that we are. That is how we live life in the reflection of who we choose to be. Granted, the choices that we make can be destructive but they can also be productive. And together, we are beautiful in the midst of them and because of them.

But, to find our meaning, we needn’t look any further than the perfect Love that we are. We are perfect Love before the choices and we are perfect Love after the choices. When the choices serve to overshadow who and what we really are, Love, we find misalignment of the self. You don’t need you to be anything but just you, nor should anyone else. We fracture the relationship we have with our self and with others around us when we see expectation, when we expect something other than what’s exactly at the ground floor, the foundation; the perfect Love we’ve all inherited simply by our presence here.

You are here to just be. To be still, to be peaceful, to be Love. If you do some stuff in between all of that, great! Do not lose sight of what your true identity is. It is not what you create, but has created you. Love.

Be Love.