Reflect without judging yourself
“The mind that has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that plan was conceived.”
~ Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
“You’re on your own now. We won’t save you.
I have a wild heart. It loves fiercely. My heart is always in search for the wounded. I don’t come to prey upon them. I understand their pain. I take the wounded in and give them safe space. When the wounded are met where they are and loved unconditionally exactly as they are, they become more resilient and the truest version of themselves.
For reasons that have eluded me until today, they don’t stay. Once my wounded are bound, they gain confidence and before I know it, they’re on their way. That’s the double-edged sword for people who love unconditionally. Unconditional lovers feel great contentment when someone they were able to guide, or restore in some way, contributes to humanity. After all, what greater cause is there? We stay rooting on the sidelines and also; we often go home alone, never having had an expectation of anything resembling appreciation. There is no debt for services rendered. Then, without further obligation the transaction is closed.
Today it occurred to me that not everyone appreciates the power of love. I want to believe the misunderstanding and fear has to do with their past alleged experiences with “love” and not some deeply imbedded fuckedupedness on my part. I think back on my own experiences and understand, but I will not digress. I will not hide. I will not refuse to love when someone loves me because someone else did it different, or not at all, in the past. I will not cease to plan and do, because of prior trials erred. I won’t cower. I won’t run when it looks like love. I won’t bow. I’ll be here in the arena with my hands in the air ready to fight for love. I’d like a partner in love and life, fighting in the name of love WITH ME, but I don’t need anyone to fight battles FOR ME. If a faithful warrior does not manifest, I know I’m scrappy enough to stand on my own.
Still, just once, I’d like to see it. I’d like to see a wounded warrior rise up and take my side.
I’d like to have an endless supply of unconditional love to spread healing to as many wounded as humanly possibly. Everybody hurts, however, suffering is a choice. There is no need for humanity to suffer in dire straits for love. There is enough to go around. I have to believe that, for us anyway…if you’d let us love.
After another amazing conversation with a older friend this afternoon and then sorting through a box of fascinating 1930s old Hollywood photographs with dearer friend, I drove home at sunset with the windows down and good music turnt up. I smiled the whole way home, singing and bopping along. I decided to stop for a drink and no sooner did I shut my car door and take three steps away, I saw a ghost. Someone I used to know. A an empty shell.
I had a typical ghost reaction: shock, alarm, fear, 4 seconds of bravery and escape. I turned on my heel, got in my car, reversed out of a spot and got back to my journey. I could feel myself becoming disassociative to the present. Beyonce saved me, y’all.
Seldom is the answer Im looking for not found in music.
As I lay here awake in bed at 3am, I can feel myself wanting to retreat… to hide. I guess more than that, it’s a longing for safety. A soft place to fall. Shelter. There is much I cherish about my independence. What I once saw as lonely and forlorn, I now see as sacred solitude. However, I would gladly cut away a pound of flesh at this very moment, to roll over and look into someone eyes. To have this craving for touch satisfied. To feel home. As quick as that feeling was acknowledged, it’s gone. Took me longer to type.
I can’t hide. This much I am certain of, but damn that zone looks comforting. Smart enough to know nothing grows there.
I’ve done a lot of work, reaching out and being vulnerable lately. I won’t retreat. I just desperately need some reassurance and reciprocity, please?
Ball is in your court, universe.
This had a very strong effect on me.
When one of my closest friends transitioned out of this life several years ago the experience became one of the most important soul lessons of my life.
The hospital room was overflowing with women, each with a significant and sacred place in my friend’s story. There was a lifetime of heart connections present, witnessing and holding the space for her exit.
As the sun was setting on the day, a man entered the room. There was a collective pulling of breath because everyone present understood the significance of this moment.
He was “the” man—the one who had resided prominently within my friend’s heart—for too many years to try to count, for as long as I had known her. There had been a time when he was the one she had mindlessly reached for, she had known that their souls were meant to be on this planet together, evolving and expanding and becoming.
They were soul mates. But he had not been able to fully show up.
He tried in his ways, but he simply could not or would not step in to the work that a soul mate connection offers to two Beings. He was never ready to be completely in. He had wanted her to be there, heart-connected and available, as an option for that future day when he would be ready, though the future never arrived.
She went forward with her own life, and he with his. There were sometimes years with little to no contact, and times when they easefully reconnected again as old, true friends. I don’t believe that she was waiting on him in a romantic sense—she closed the door of their romance long ago, though I do believe that there was always a wish within her soul that he would someday decide he was finally ready for this soul work.
As he entered the hospital room he was moving at a fast pace, the momentum it took to propel him into this moment. My heart ached as he hit the brick wall of reality taking in the scene. The sight of her literally hurled his body backwards several steps, and stopped him cold.
But then he knew what to do. With laser precision he walked over to her bedside and placed the tips of his fingers ever so gently upon her forehead.
He stood; eyes closed with her, for several moments. Then he turned away walking over to the window to look out at the gorgeous setting sun. Everyone in the room turned their gaze to follow him, and as we were admiring the beautiful sunset she took her last breath.
The women began to cry and mourn and gather around her, but the man just stood there watching, as still as a stone.
He had accomplished what he came there to accomplish, which was to show up for her. The women started to comfort him, saying, “She waited for you. Thank you for coming. It means so much”
He didn’t respond to these acknowledgements of his place of importance in her life, he just gazed upon the ceremonial farewell now underway. The women bathed my friend in lavender and sang songs rejoicing her. Someone handed him a towel, to help dry her body off. He held the towel but did not move from his place.
It all felt so representative of their experience together, I could see how locked down he was and it broke my heart. A wave of compassion flooded over me and a deep sorrow for the beautiful soul work left undone, unchosen. I could see on his face that he knew. He told himself for all these years that she would always be there, for the day he became ready—and now she was gone.
He believed they were soul mates, he referred to her as such; the connection was undeniable. Anyone who had ever spent time with the two of them together could feel the truth of this, regardless of circumstances or storylines.
When I left the hospital late that evening I immediately dialed the number of my own long left behind soul mate. It had happened that we spoke briefly that morning, so he knew my friend was in her last moments of life. He knew I was calling to tell him that she was gone. He knew I needed his comfort. But he didn’t take the call.
He said no to me. Again. Still.
Even in my disappointment I recognized that he had done the right thing, as brutal as it seemed. He was in a relationship with another, and we share the past not the present. He was no longer “my person” nor I, his. It had been wrong for me to make that call.
I sat in my car weeping uncontrollably for a long time—for the loss of my beautiful friend, for the shocked pain and regret I saw on the face of her soul mate knowing the door of opportunity had now closed for this lifetime, and for my own disappointed heart with its similar story.
I don’t take my soul mate’s no personally. It is not some defective aspect of me that he has turned away from. I know this. I accept his right to choose the work his soul shows up for in this life and his own pace of readiness.
But there is an unresolvable heartache, a disappointment that does not become diluted with time or distance. My own work has become navigating these difficult emotions with an ever open and compassionate heart.
I remind myself that this whole lifetime is but a cosmic blip on the map and there is so much more we cannot see from this physical body’s vantage point.
The end is never the end.
I believe that my friend was wise in not trying to push this man completely out of her heart. She did not allow her life to stall and become stagnant waiting, but she did not sever the connection and banish him as punishment for his no. She accepted this and moved forward, still embracing and acknowledging the small piece of her that would always be awaiting his arrival.
As Pickle is nearing the end of his senior year of high school, prom is in the air. Pickle won’t be attending as he attended the Heart of Rock and Roll prom this last fall, but he is going to After Prom at Cedar Point the following day.
All of this got me thinking about my own prom.
Even though it will be 20 years ago come next summer, 20 YEARS, I remember it like it was yesterday …
Before I even started getting ready, my date had a dozen, long stem roses delivered to my house. I was still in my pajamas but I felt like a queen. I went to a salon for the first time that day. Got to be waited on by two incredibly gorgeous, well put-together ladies. One working my hair, while the other worked on my nails and make up. This would be a fantasy I would not ever again reach, even on my wedding day.
Then I went home and put on that gown. Classic Hollywood black, with Audrey Hepburn gloves to match and for good measure in attempting to leave my little girl ways behind, a low cut and high slit, paired with velvet pumps. I don’t remember what he said when he saw me that evening for the first time, but the look on his face, I’ll never forget.
I remember trying to be very sophisticated as we made our promenade into dinner. All eyes smiling on the two of us together, wanting to make him proud. I also remember the highlights of the actual dance. Getting our pictures taken. Rocking out with my girlfriends but taking every opportunity to slow dance with him.
But my favorite memories came after we left. Just the two of us in the backseat of a stretch limo while taking in the sights and city lights of Washington D.C. after dark. All the memorials being lit up. The busyness of Georgetown on a weekend night. It all felt like a dream and I didn’t want the magic of it to ever end.
There’s something very magical about being young, in love and sharing a night like that. Something that can never be replicated. While a part of that girl still lives in me, wanting that kind of magic to grace my days again and no matter what happened in that relationship with that boy in the days and years that were to follow, I will always hold those memories close to my heart and be so appreciative of that night … and that magic.
Because of that night, I will always believe in magic.