What I Know About Love

True love is infinite.  It can not be measured, compartmentalized or contained.  It is.  That is all.

My 9 year anniversary of marriage was last Saturday (March 19).  I didn’t post on that day because my husband and I have decided to separate.  Those who know us both are surprised and somewhat confused.  Truthfully, we are a bit surprised as well but it is a welcome change.

Break ups are opportunities for a life review.  They open the door to a deeper understanding of life, the universe and everything.  This one is perhaps one of my greatest gifts.

I love my husband and he loves me.  We respect each other.  We can talk about anything…even splitting up…with open hearts.  We want what is best for the other. We want each other to be happy.  We have both stated we needed each other to grow as much individually as we have the past decade. I am grateful for him and he is grateful for me.

He has a way with metaphors and described our split like a shuttle launch.  Shuttles need boosters to take off and get up to speed but, after a certain point, the boosters have to break off so the shuttle can soar into outer-space.   We want each other to soar.  We’re soaring in different directions and staying together would mean limiting each other’s potential.  Neither of us wish for that.

I affirm often “I embrace changes that serve my highest good”.  Every time I repeat those words, I mean them.  Even though I wasn’t expecting this change, I see it as one to embrace.  Even when change is painful, it doesn’t cause suffering unless I resist it.

Our time as a married couple has come to an end.  We know that we could deny this fact and live mediocre lives together for many years to come but we want GREAT lives.  Passionate, wholehearted, amazing lives.

I have been through divorce before as a different person with someone quite different.  I thought I would live the rest of my life with the man I married March 19, 2007.  I justified my first divorce with the success of my second marriage, telling myself the relationship issues weren’t mine.  This transition is making me question everything I have ever believed about love.  It’s making me see how I have clutched on to others to try and fill a void within myself.  It’s giving me opportunities to practice the self-love and self-care I teach while opening my eyes to yet another way of being.

In the past year, two significant female friendships have ended as well.  One of them specifically told me I was trying to use her for connection I should experience with my husband.  Her words angered me immensely at the time but now I see she was right.  Another held my hand while I crossed the bridge to a more spiritual life and then withdrew because it’s what she needed to do.  I took that withdrawal as abandonment but, in reality, we needed to part for our own good.  We are all better apart than we would be together now.  Both of those friendships helped teach me what love is and what it is not.  Both of those friendships prepared me for this time in my life.

There are pieces of my heart that belong to every person I have every loved, romantically or otherwise.  Whether we remain lovers/friends or not, that love remains.  That piece of my heart is theirs and I cherish it.  The words that triggered the most emotion (especially hurt, anger and fear) held the deepest truth and taught me the greatest lessons.  Resistance to the shadow parts of myself causes destruction, embracing them heals.

As one door closes, another opens.  I am experiencing connection at a level I have never experienced before.  I now understand there is no competition in love.  My love has no end.  The love I experience with one does not take away from the love I experience with another.  Finite things can be owned, bartered, divided and taken away…not infinite love.

Resistance to loving myself unconditionally blocks love from coming in or going out.  Every fear I have had about how someone is going to treat me, stems from the way I treat myself.  I have accused others of abandoning me, disrespecting me, not listening to me, manipulating me, taking advantage of me…And guess what?! Those are things I have done to myself!

Identifying what I was afraid of in regards to relationships inspired the set of affirmations below.  Reading them aloud daily has been life changing!  May they be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Trust Affirmations:
Everything is working out perfectly.
I am grateful we found each other and are brave enough to do what we need to do for our highest good.
I trust you.
I trust myself.
I trust your connection with spirit.
I trust my connection with spirit.
I trust your timing.
I trust my timing.
I trust your instincts.
I trust my instincts.
I release my need to control, trying to make myself feel safe.
I am safe.
All is well.
I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

And so it is (x3)…

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

 

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My Truth and My Fears

Almost immediately after waking up this morning, I rolled over to snuggle in my husband’s shoulder cradle and tearfully said, “whether it’s logical or not, I’m afraid of losing you”.  He wisely didn’t respond ‘there’s nothing you can do that would make me leave you’ or ‘I will love you no matter what’.  In my emotional state, words like that would have just brought up red flags in me.  I didn’t need to be consoled or reassured because I don’t believe anyone can promise what they will authentically feel in the future and I don’t completely trust people who think they can.

For the next few hours, my patient, loving, thoughtful, self-aware partner walked me through some of my worst fears. Throughout the course of our conversation, I realized I was really afraid of growing too much and finding my life unbearable.  I have been through that hell before and I didn’t want to go back.  I know that once you reach another level of awareness, you can not go back, any more than a baby can return to the womb.  I was afraid of growing so much that I wouldn’t want to be with him.  Instead of taking offense or falling into fears of his own, my life partner just heard me out.

We concluded that the core essence that brought us together is unchanging.  We both value love, truth and honesty.  Our list of deal breakers is short and every line item can be prevented with one simple (but not easy) thing… Live each day with the intention of awareness and address things as they come up.

When we first started dating, I made a promise that I can keep “I will let you know where I am at and what I am thinking along the way”.  I learned yesterday that my open, honest and above board approach is what attracted my husband to me more than anything else.  In those early months, we agreed that if another truly didn’t want to be with us, we didn’t want to be with them.  Neither of us are the same now as we were then and we are still happily together.

The worst sin anyone can commit in my mind is something that takes away another’s power.  Attempting to stifle, control or kill another’s spirit is completely unacceptable to me.  If you would like to see virtual fire come out of my eyeballs, just start talking to me about someone taking advantage of someone’s vulnerable state for their own gain and the other’s demise.  The only thing that keeps me from attacking predators myself is a belief their actions come from losing touch with their own divinity inside and are their own type of victim, in need of love.

I also believe the BEST thing you can do for another human is honor his or her divinity while living your best life.  Love unconditionally.  Share ideas but don’t try to influence or control; just be.

I am finding my voice.  I am practicing speaking my truth.  Fear is my ally.  Fear is a signal that I’m undermining my power and in need of more self-love **.  I am incredibly grateful to be in union with someone who can help me process what I feel instead of ‘fix’ it.  For reasons I am only beginning to understand, he’s also grateful to be with a dynamic, passionate, fire cracker of a soul who faces her fears.

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

** Hearing Roger Teel speak at the Hay House “I Can Do It” conference in Denver (April 2015) helped me understand how to see fear.  His website is http://rogerteel.com/

What do you want to do?

We are born knowing what we want.  As babies, those wants are pretty simple: food, comfort, clean butts and sleep.  As we grow up, we learn about the difference between wants and needs.  Our ‘needs’ stay pretty much the same but our wants get more complicated.  Social mores come in and tell us what we should and should not want.  Parents, religious organizations, media, social networks… They all have something to say.

Somewhere along the line, we lose touch with who we really are because it becomes clouded by the voices of others.  Getting what we want becomes more complicated than learning how to emotionally manipulate the people around us with a good tantrum. Few parents know how to turn that tantrum into a emotional processing learning experience and instead teach us to shut it down.

I distinctly remember knowing at 5 years of age exactly what I wanted and how the world worked (Robert Fulghum nailed it with “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindgergarden”).  At 25, I hadn’t a clue.

Now in my mid thirties, beyond anything I do or say, I aim to be true to myself and encourage everyone around me to do the same.  The most common response when I ask “What do you want to do?” is “I don’t know what I want” but THAT IS A LIE.  Not a malicious, intentional lie, but no more true than a lie.  

The truth is, somewhere, sometime along the line, it was decided (consciously or unconsciously) that what they wanted was not possible.  “You shouldn’t want that”, “you can’t have that”, “forget about it”…  And they did.  It was determined that pretending they don’t know what they want and coping with mediocrity was preferred to the anguish of knowing what they want but not having it yet.  Anyone can bring it back though, if they’ve got the guts.  

The road to your heart’s purest desire is not without a few rocks and pointy objects but it’s worth traveling.  Please hear me, it’s WORTH TRAVELING. 

Trying to figure out what I want to do “for the rest of my life” is too big of a chunk to process.  So I start with what I want to do this year, this month, this week and if that still seems to big, I start with this day, this hour, this minute, this second.  I found a safe place where I can just ‘be’ without judgment.  If judgment comes in, I don’t judge the judgment, I just let it be.  Observe it, acknowledge it, but detach from it.  Feelings are not facts.  I’ve have nothing to fear but fear itself.

My latest endeavor is expressing my emotions with a drawing journal.  Sometimes I draw, sometimes I write, but it is a safe place where I can put down what is on my heart.  It’s not always pretty and I accept that.  Sometimes I am surprised by what comes out but it’s liberating to have a safe place where nothing I do is ever wrong.  

How do I know if the trials and tribulations I experience are because I am getting closer to my fountain of truth or because I am off track?  I ask myself a few questions: What am I afraid of? Am I clinging to a belief/something/someone that is causing this pain?  (If yes, I’m bringing the heartache on myself.  If no, I’m about to learn an important life lesson.)  Do I unconditionally love and accept myself right now? (If yes, I’m about to learn an important life lesson and this pain will not last long.  If no, I gotta start now.)

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading