Love is Timeless

love stories

I love stories.  I enjoy listening to guests tell me their life accounts.  By far, my favorite stories are the relationship ones.   Love stories make me melt.  I gush at the events, cooing with corniness as I live through the words that are shared from strangers.  I am fortunate to live in a place that brings a variety of non-fictional-folklore-romance stories to my door. I have heard countless biographies of how folks meet, who made the first move, where and how they got together, their serendipitous moments, and so on. This week I had the pleasure of meeting two love birds that have touched my gentle heart in the most tendering of ways.

Cathy and Denis came to attend a wedding in town two weekends ago.  They stayed for a few extra days and left to travel and explore the area. They returned for a few more days and I was able to share in their circle of love and admiration. Denis, a charismatic middle school teacher, is a no-nonsense witty man.  A musician at heart, he has a poetic side to him that brings his beautiful girlfriend to her knees. You can see their intimacy in their gestures and glances.  Cathy, a beautiful-classy-bubbly lady, is pure joy. She has an air of sophistication and a knowing that she keeps tightly reserved for her alone.  For the first part of their trip I thought they were married.  Sitting down with them I learned that they just became “a couple” almost two years ago.  They knew each other in high school. He “had his eye” on her for years.  “She was the popular cheerleader.” He was the geek.  She really didn’t notice him then.  They graduated and life took them on separate journeys.  Both got married, had children and grandchildren.  Both lost their spouses after 38 years of marriage.  And, then through a deep emotional moment (after the loss of wife to cancer) Denis decided to attend their 40th high school reunion hoping to see “that beautiful girl” that made his heart skip a beat way back then.  He finally got the belle of the ball.  He calls Cathy, “his goddess.”   My eyes watered as he shared his luck.  He devoured his emotions with such joy and love that I was brought to goose bumps. She sat there agreeing, nodding, and every so often commenting.  Her eyes twinkled every time he looked at her with admiration.  And, in those moments of witnessing such comfortable energy I got lost in their exploration.

Listening to the accounts of their lives brings me to the awareness that love has no expiration date.  I’ve had several guests share similar stories of reunions. There is hope and faith in knowing that someone out there is waiting on your heart to unite.  Lovers come into this life on a treasure hunt. They move through years as scavengers waiting to find “that one” individual that will connect with them.  I know when I met Matt my heart settled and whispered, “Oh there you are.  Well, of course.  I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?”  Every other relationship (some which were amazing and breathtakingly beautiful… others not so much) raised the standards for this particular one.  I met my match.  I was able to feel comfortable without excuses.  I have been able to fully strip away the scrutiny of self-worth and image.  I never thought I would even consider getting married.  It wasn’t in the cards for me.  I always said that I wanted a man in my life but not in my house.  Now, he’s not only in my house but we are raising a baby together.  Funny how this happens!  This home is full because of everything he has brought with him. I am learning who I truly am through his existence.

The heart expands with each connection. It vibrates, learns and teaches the brain exactly what is needed to survive.   We do not live solely for ourselves. We are here to unite, attach, and bridge the way from one heart to another.  It doesn’t matter if it takes 20, 40, or 60 years.  In matters of the heart there is no time line.  You can meet your soul partner at age three and move through different experiences and journeys.

Every person who enters my life has taught me something invaluable.  Whether it is with a glance, a word, a conversation or years of connection I evolve because of you.  I am giddy with gratitude for my beautiful teachers this week, Cathy and Denis.  Their presence has reminded me that love has no timeline or expiration date.  It is endless and priceless.  I hope they return soon!

 “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” ~ Thomas Merton

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I Need To Change

The Dalai Lama says that “love is the absence of judgment.”  I agree and realize I must be the first to change.  I judge those who judge others. It starts with me.  How do I do it? How do I refrain from my own discriminations, ignorance, evaluations, and misunderstandings?  I know words are impeccable so if I don’t begin in changing my language there is no difference in me and anyone else that I am judging.

Love is the absence of everything unjust and the presence of all that exists.  To truly love we must accept those who are different.  I sit listening to the background of news while my fiancé watches and I get irritated.  I glaze at the images and scenes from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and home.  I don’t know how to stay in my own skin and not judge the hatred and bigotry.  I am no different.  I have my own conceptual ideas about how the world would be run if everyone put down their weapons for five minutes and looked at each other as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends.  Five minutes of staring into another’s soul.  I cannot understand the harshness, the reasons for these wars, and the way they derive from belief systems.  I am no different in the emotions that conjure up and the rage that appears from a place that’s ugly, uncomfortable, and unrighteous.  I have my own beliefs. I just don’t go around slapping people to wake up with a lavender twig to smell the fragrance of love.  My hippie mentality cannot change how anyone thinks or can it? Can I just allow the love in spite of the indifferences? Absolutely!

Words! All we have are words.  I am learning to use mine wisely.  I am adjusting the filters and stepping back many times to share what needs to be said without diving into the drama. Yet, when I am alone in thoughts and prayers I beat myself up for not setting a boundary, not saying my truth, and not really participating fully in another’s issue.  Ego is a bitch in solitary moments. Isn’t this judgment?  How am I to love deeply if I don’t let it all go?  I feel and believe that I love wholeheartedly.  I love fiercely with an immense amount of compassion for the weak, the hurt, and the misunderstood.  I am a sucker for the underdog.  It is the ones who know better that I have a problem with and test the perception of acceptance.  It is said that the project and reflect from one another.  What does this say of my character?  When events like this happen my judgment goes up and creates a barrier where the light of love can’t even get through.  I need to change! I need to love without choices, without picking, without deciding who really needs it more.  Who am I to manage such immensity of emotions while selecting the human?  I don’t get to learn from the ones who agree with me.  I get the opportunity to reflect, refrain, and restrain from those who hurt me or don’t agree with my thoughts.  They are the best of teachers.  So, I do need to change and will make the effort immediately.   I don’t want my love and trust in others to die because of my lack of knowledge and empathy for their beliefs.  Who am I to create such turmoil of energy unto another?   I want love to live in me, through me, from me, and be without any stipulations.  Even when another is coming full force with hateful words, judgment, and ignorance I want to have an open heart while setting healthy boundaries.  The most challenging process of these archetype lessons is staying grounded, present, and accepting that which is different.  It is in that difference that the world resides fully.  It is in that moment of impact when another is being hateful that love lights the way.  Oh…I do need to change, evolve, and mature in so many ways to be considered a loving humanitarian. I need to adjust the sails in this journey with letting go, forgiveness, and awareness.  It starts with me.  Can you join me?

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” ~ Anais Nin

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Running Scared

scare the world

I fear very few things: lizards (or anything that looks like one), losing my mind completely, never saying what I really want to say, being considered a hypocrite, and losing my faith.  I am pretty much content with life.  Few things stop me from reaching what I want.  Most of these things are enemies that live in my own head: past life traumas, leftover voices from others, and my own ego sabotaging success.

What I find is that if, and when, I put every dream out to the universe I get it all.  When I let go with pure intentions I get it better than I expect it.  Being scared is also an opportunity to be brave.  If we fear nothing then how would we know what courage looks like?  There is also the opportunity to explore why we fear certain things.  Is it something from the past that has to be processed and learned in order to move on? Is it our internal knowing telling us to beware? Is it ego?  Often times what holds us back from moving forward is the anxiety of the future and allowing it to paralyze our progress.  That which we don’t know is kinda scary when we place expectations into it.  The point is to have no expectations!

I woke this morning, finally having slept a continuous six hours, with some clarity.  I’ve been running scared for a few months. I couldn’t pin point the reason for this fear.  And, then, last night I got it.  I have feared failing short of not being compassionate enough.  I hesitate in making decisions believing I will fail another time.  But, Spirit has a way of showing me where Ego loves to manipulate me.  It allows me to process through dreams. It shows me the difference between past beliefs and reality, erasing all illusions that the mind has created.

We have the power to manifest anything we want. We have the ability to attract those things that seem impossible.  It takes the gift of putting aside all pre-judgments, negative beliefs, and sabotage that we’ve been conditioned to live.

I went down a list this morning.  I erased them all.  I have a stack of papers from the filing cabinet (a life of documented crap that serves me nothing now) that I will burn today that need to be thrown back to the earth.  I know something miraculous and big is about to happen.  I feel the giddiness in my stomach. I feel the joy in my heart.  I’ve been here before and I know when blessings are nearby.

Make a list.  Let it go.  Reprogram yourself.  De-clutter your life and make room for blessings.  It’s time.  We need to stand together with a shift in consciousness.  I can’t do this alone. Look at the state of the world and believe that together we can send out the love and peace it needs.  But, it starts with you first.  It starts at home with you manifesting the things your heart desires.  Be honest with your truth because the authentic YOU is dying to live in freedom. If you aren’t happy then we cannot shift a thing.  ALIGN your dreams with the Universe.  I am a trust fund baby of the Universe and so are you with unlimited resources of money, love, happiness, peace, health, compassion, and all that is good.  We got this!  Have a blessed Sunday!

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The Secret

 hands of time

Come close.

I want to share a secret.

I love you!

I don’t know you well, but that doesn’t matter.

I love you for being here, listening,

reading, and being a part of my existence.

We are from different backgrounds, worlds apart,

have nothing in common, but I still love you.

Everything that breathes shares in my life.

Look at that tree.  See the leaves moving?

I love it too. 

Look at the ground: muddy, chaotic, smelly…

that’s one of my favorite loves.

Check out the dog chasing the cat.  Yes…smile. 

There’s a real Tom and Jerry.  I love them too.

The man over there lying with a cup by him on the station floor?  Him too.

The woman talking to herself?  Yes, she’s my love as well.

Oh, the nasty personality at the convenient store?  Yeah…he resides in me.

And, that teenager over there plotting and scheming with a knife…

he is definitely my love.

It doesn’t matter what and who you believe, I still love you.

We may never see eye to eye but that won’t stop me from sending you prayers,

wishing you well, and loving you for the soul you are here on earth.

We are all here on a cosmic journey.  We’ve traveled far and wide together.

Our geography is different.  Our lives share no comparisons.

Our paths have alternate endings.  Our stories might never intertwine.

But, why complicate things with boundaries, lines of prejudice and bigotry?

The only reason we are here is to learn, experience and love. 

So, I refuse to fail this test.

Want to know the secret of my journey?

It’s you,

her,

him,

and them.  We are all in this together.

Thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life

even if it’s with a glance, a word, or in joining our biographies.

My life is not the same without you. 

 

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Life is a Salad Bar

salad barLast night my best friend and I watched the endearing movie, “Heaven is for Real.”  It’s a story about a little boy who has a near-death experience and goes to heaven.  At the age of four he teaches those around him about faith. After the movie Bobbie asked if after all these months I can still feel things that I did when I came back into my body in January.  I explained to her that I would never be the same prior to that date.  I have no fear of dying.  I also have no understanding of what others experience.  Anything and everything I knew before January 15, 2014, is null and void. My participation, involvement and personal narrative have nothing to do with anyone else.  No two people can experience exactly the same thing. Every action and circumstance is different.  Our lives are as unique as fingerprints.  My faith has been strengthened.  My ability to reason has been rewired.  And, my knowing of what I knew to be true has disappeared.  I can read things from a year ago and I cannot relate to the b.s.    I know nothing.  I knew even less then.   Every rough edge in my being seems to be smoothing out.  I returned with a deep compassionate heart for me.    Always having been the worrier of everyone else, I realize now it has nothing to do with me.

I was once standing at a salad bar.  My children were all getting the same toppings, yet every salad was different.  We all had the same ingredients but no two salads were identical.  That’s life!  We can all share the same jobs, family, losses, circumstances, course of events, and so on but no two lives are identical.  It is foolish and arrogant to say that “I know exactly how you feel” or “I understand completely.”  Impossible!  We can empathize and sympathize with one another but our emotions, decision making, processing, and a million other factors make it impossible for anyone to know “exactly” how you are feeling.  Besides I truly believe we all have the answers we need at all times.  All we have to do is get out of the way and let Spirit guide us.  If you are fortunate enough to have someone listening to you as you process an issue you will come to the conclusion on your own.

We are here on borrowed time.  Even with time being a huge illusion it is still the indicator of our livelihood.  Eighty years (if we are lucky to live them) is not that long.  In the scope of desires, dreams, and wanting to live fully that seems like a really short lifespan.  At the time of death things that mattered in our lives seem insignificant.  It’s all about lessons, experiences, and the connections we make while here on this planet.  I am often reminded of Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” and how perception plays a huge role in the way we live.  If you knew you had an expiration date what would you do differently?  How would you live the rest of your time? Would you consider it a privilege and gift?  I bet money wouldn’t be an issue, or the degrees you didn’t get, or even the material life you thought was important.   But, you might look back and regret not saying more “I love you’s,” “I am sorry,” “I am proud of you,” and so on.

Heaven is for real.  You create it every day.  Hell is for real as well.  You create it every day.  You get to choose which mental location to live on.  Do you want joy or do you want hatred?  Do you want peace or do you want war?  Our internal factors are a switch away.  You get to decide how you live your life.  And, if you believe for one minute that you cannot change the way you are living, then sweetheart, you are definitely living in hell.  Let divine wisdom, God, and your faith dictate the way.  What others say or think really does not matter.  Be aware of the endless possibilities in your dreams!  Awake each day to being present and the amazing gift of another day.  You came into this world knowing your mission but have forgotten it for a bit.  Sit and search for your truth. You got this!

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What We Leave Behind

footprint

I used to think that it was important to leave something behind in life as a legacy for others to acknowledge my existence.  For most of my life I kept journals, poetry books, albums and all sorts of pasted memory books documenting my journey here. Several years ago I stopped.  I was losing myself in trying to leave a life behind while not being presently available now.  I was tired of leaving a token of my existence for others to find.  I decided I was going to touch more, love harder, and be present with those in my life.  What better legacy but time?

We are always trying to leave footprints behind for others to find.  Sometime ago during a visit from one of my sons we were sitting around discussing legacies.  He asked me what I would like to leave behind as a remembrance of my life.  I said, “My laughter.  I want people to think of me and think that I was fun.  I want to believe that I touched someone through my sense of humor.”  His eyes watered with that simple answer. He was expecting me to say something of greatness or about love.  But, I believe that joy is the catalyst to other emotions.  Joy and laughter open up love, empathy, compassion, and kindness.

What carries on after death? The lessons, mistakes, triumphs, and achievements are not so much of importance in the past as they will be in the future.  We take for granted what must be learned rather than learn what we take for granted because of worrying about the future.  It is the present that emphasis must be placed upon in order to correct anything else in our path.  Legacies are moments.  Moments consist of time.

Death is a state of consciousness.  It is one of the many stages through the infinite. I witnessed this first hand in January when I had the near death experience.  At that moment of leaving the physical body I was not a bit concerned with my legacy.  I didn’t think about the things I should have done.  I didn’t ponder or cry about the things I didn’t get to do.  My only thought was, “Where will this light take me?  There’s nothing like this. There never was.”

We are here passing through: for learning, accumulating, and exercising the greatness of our existence.  There is no real secret to life.  That’s perhaps the secret.  We all want to know that we’ve mattered. We have.  I have.  You have.  We are here in this melting pot together making our way home.   Every day I am gifted favorable circumstances.  I get opportunities of love (giving and receiving), forgiveness (for mistakes and misunderstandings), learning (beyond my means), dreaming (manifesting all my desires), kindness, and compassion (without them I am not human) so that my spiritual, physical and emotional bodies can evolve into greatness.  This greatness is called life. Make each moment count with joy, surrendering abandonment for the past, miracles for the future, and appreciation for being present at all times.  Laugh at the silliness, forgive the hurt, love those who you never thought you could.  Allow these opportunities to map out the journey.  You got this!  No one else can do it for you.  Create the greatest story of YOU!  That’s your legacy.

“Inside of all of us there is the need and the desire to be heard, to have our innermost thoughts, feelings and desires expressed for others to hear, to see and to understand. We all want to matter to someone, to leave a mark. Writers just take those thoughts, feelings and desires and express them in such a way that the reader not only reads them but feels them as well.” ~ Vicktor Alexander

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Life Surrounded by Hope

hope

Long ago in the midst of a horrible separation I wrote my ex a letter in Spanglish expressing how I felt during the many years of our union.  In those days I took very little responsibility for what I brought into that relationship.  It was easier to blame him for most of it. It was comforting to tell the stories of victimization and believe I had no handle in things.  I am embarrassed to say that my ego was huge.  It was arrogance and an unwillingness to take participation in the choices I had made.  In this letter I expressed that Hope was a thing of the past.  I, in full blown sarcasm, told him that Esperanza (which is Hope in Spanish) was an old woman living in Peru on some mountain, and that she didn’t live in our relationship anymore.  Hope was not available. The blame from both of us was atrocious.  It was disturbing how at one time we might have gotten the magic and then 18 years later it was nowhere to be found.  Infidelities and other distrusting behaviors had sent “Esperanza” somewhere back to South America.  Whether he got the sarcasm or read between the lines of so much hurt, is beyond me.  I wrote the letter in Spanish and in parts that had no translation I stuck with English.  At this point I could have used a billboard to express how I was feeling and it would not have mattered.  We were past the point of reconciliation and respect.  The he-said-she-said game was well-past due.  The hurt was astronomical.

These days, 6 years later, I try desperately to find grace and hope living in my heart.  When I make a mistake I step back and try to take accountability for it.  I am still human and ego is still very present.   The only difference now is that I am grateful for the lessons that come my way.  Esperanza has returned to my life.  She lives deeply in the corners of my home, heart, and relationships.  Esperanza had to disappear in order for me to learn those things that needed to be ingrained.  The universe whispered a lot in those days.  Then it would speak louder.  Finally, when it would scream I was physically in danger.  It took a lot of physical power to get me to listen.  My tenacious and stubborn ways have been the biggest personality downfall.  I am gentler with my spirit now.

The truth is that Hope never left my side.  Hope was there when I signed over my half of the company to him; when I sold everything to leave my home; when I abandoned our beautiful house that took years to short sell and make zero on it; when I began living a life of authentic truth.  Hope knew I would survive.  Grace joined in and pushed me to strengthen my dignity and integrity.   Hope didn’t disappear. It was actually there quietly waiting to be acknowledged.

Happiness and misery live simultaneously inside.  They are a matter of choice and perception. Do you see hope in the distance? Do you see darkness around you all the time?  To lose hope is to lose everything. And, in those moments it is when hope is truly present.  It is an oxymoron.  I thought I had lost my dear Esperanza, sending her off to some remote place.  Hope was merely sitting and waiting for my presence.  Once I was aware of the lessons, experiences, choices and journey everything fell back into alignment.  I moved to North Carolina to live on top of a mountain which was always my dream.  I have been able to strip self-worth issues, and live with the absence of blame on others.  I am responsible only for me.  My life has brought me here while Hope held my hand.

Where is Hope taking you?   Who is holding all of your dreams and desires waiting on you to align with them?  Be aware of your thoughts, illusions and reality.  Feel the presence of love, compassion, forgiveness and truth.  You are always in the care of the Divine!

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

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