Archive | December, 2015

Living From Your Heart [?]

Tonight, a friend of mine is packing to travel across the country and tell her best friend that she loves him. Not ‘friends’ love, but ‘I want to make a life with you,’ love.

It’s huge.
It’s a huge risk, for heart and soul and mind.
And, I am sort of jealous.

She is living from her heart.

::: ::: ::: :::

Don’t we all want this?
To live our dreams?
To let our heart out of its cage and fly free?
To love what we love and let it guide our life?

I certainly have.

When I was in the Sex Surge, I wanted to love someone with everything that I was. I wanted to show him every goodness that I saw in him and I wanted to encourage and support (mmm…and ravage) him. My heart was so full with everything I wanted to be for him and show him.

And I wanted to set my heart free.
To love, to risk, to let love guide me.
Even now I can feel the memories of this desire in my bones.
I wanted it so badly, I would have squashed myself into a very small box to be with him.
[To be clear: that’s not love, that’s desperation.]

But, my brain knew I would end up with a broken heart.
My love and support would never be returned; he didn’t feel the same.
And if I decided to love anyway, to take the huge risk, I would end up embarrassed and risk killing a perfectly good marriage.

Either way: broken heart.
Either way, I would be broken. And I know how hard it is to put myself back together after being broken. It was never going to be worth it. And yet…and yet, I so wanted to set the love free.

And so, the battle between my heart and mind raged.

::: ::: ::: :::

My friend, who is so brave, risking for love…my romantic side wants everything to work out perfectly, like a movie. I want her to go for it and have him accept her love with the same intensity and desire she feels. [And as I type this, all my fingers and toes are crossed. I have been sending love to this situation for days.]

My logical side lives in fear, though. It might not work that way.
Even if it does, there will be consequences to their love.

What do we choose when the heart and mind are at such odds?

There is only one answer I know. One that has always worked for me, even if the work was hard.

What has bridged the divide between mind and heart?
What has always provided the best answer to my most confusing questions?
Spirit.

::: ::: ::: :::

I believe in The Something. Call it ‘Life’ or ‘The Divine’ or ‘god’ if it works for you. [I have used many names, this is the only one that remains adequate over the years and the experiences of my life.]

I believe in Something that is more than the sum of the parts of this life, more than the sum of this Universe. And I believe it wants our good.

In order for the answers to come, you must believe in The Something. You must also believe it wants our best. And that it has an awareness of the biggest picture of Life- that it knows more than you do.

If you believe these things, you can ask for answers that go beyond the heart and the mind.

What is the highest good in this situation? Please show me.
Give me guidance for the best way.
What is the next step?
Show me what is best for my growth.

If you are unsure, ask. If your heart and mind are dueling, ask.

red heart cupped in human hands symbolizing sharing love with another

 

I asked these questions, over and over, during the Sex Surge.
And the answer was always this: stay with your marriage.
I knew the answer was the right one.
It was also a damn hard answer, because I still wanted to share my love.

But, that is how this site was born.
I turned all that love and desire towards myself, towards Life, and let sensuality focus my desire.

I also re-created my marriage and healed some old emotional wounds.
Over and over I returned to those questions, hoping that the answer might change.
It never has.

But the interesting thing is – it was the right answer.
It also let my heart love- not in the way I hoped for, but I did get what I most needed.
My heart and my mind had to work together to live out the dictates of my spirit.

The answer from The Something stopped the heart+head feuding and lead me to answers and truths I could not have found otherwise.

Spirit gave me a good answer, even if it was hard to carry out. But then, isn’t all growth hard in that way- pressing us up and out of our habits, into new (and scary) territory? Yes, it is exactly that.

As for my friend, I wish her the best. I pray that the next step in this journey is for her heart to find true companionship and love. In fact, my friend did her work and knows that this is the next step given to her by Spirit. Outcomes are not guaranteed, of course, but I also know that Spirit has her highest good at heart. And that she will continue walking her journey, no matter where it takes her.

When your heart and head are at odds, there is only one place to go – Upper Management. Ask Life, The Something, The Divine; she will guide you, even in your darkest moments of confusion, fear, or doubt. Ask and listen- the path of goodness for your soul will open, one step at a time.

 

 

0

Dark Mid-Winter Ritual :: The Letting Out and Letting Go

[Originally posted over at JoannaMeriwether.com]

The house was dark, but warm.
They’d all gone to bed.

I stayed up- finished the dishes, put the laundry away, and tidied.
I moved slowly and felt my whole body move with each task.

I made a cup of tea to wind down with.
I turned on the tree lights, but kept the room dark.
Pulled a few pillows together and made myself comfy as I sat.

I put on the playlist.

And I cried.

I let the small, weepy noises escape my mouth.
Felt the big, warm tears well at my eyelids.
And let them slip down my cheeks.

No Kleenex. This was (and is) a winter ritual of letting go.
Letting go is a messy affair, and I respect it.
I let the tears fall and my make-up drown and I do not reach for anything.
This is my time with myself.

I let the feelings of loss fill my chest.
I think about words I should have said, or not said.
Unfulfilled wishes (some repeatedly).
Boundaries I did not want to make, but had to (for safety and sanity).
I grieve for what I really won’t get back.

During the Surge years, I spent three of these rituals crying for what I so deeply wanted but knew I couldn’t have. Laugh-crying for stupid things I’d done. Letting myself feel the desire and the connection – fully, so fully I thought I would break – and then letting it go. Letting it go again…again…

ornaments and holiday decorations in shadows reminding us of dark rituals for the end of the year

I give myself this night, this ritual, every  year.
Because it’s easier to feel the melancholy just now.
To find the dark and, instead of running, to be held by it.

I give myself this ritual because sometimes a woman needs the dark and the quiet so deeply and desperately. The dark and the quiet nourish us better than food, sometimes.

I give myself this ritual so that I can honestly wear my joy. If my grief sits atop my joy, well…everyone knows it, don’t they? An authentic woman cannot really hide- those who love her, feel her.

I give myself this ritual so that I can see – as kindly as possible – what I’ve done and where I’ve travelled, and what remains to be held and loved and healed.

I give myself this ritual because sometimes the holidays are a mess. Overwhelm and family expectations and budgets and travel feel like so much paper + tape + cardboard at my feet. It is okay to sit amongst the mess, exhausted, and cry.

I give myself this ritual because I need it.

::: ::: ::: :::

I don’t know if you need the dark, or a place to cry during the holidays. But if you do- take it. Find a safe, quiet space. Light a candle, put on the lights, make the darkness such that you can feel held by it. Find music if you like (I wrote my own list below). And let your feelings have the space they need to finally be released, to find their way out of your head + heart + body and out into the night.

Winter Solstice is coming up soon – longest night of the year – and that is a great time to do this ritual. But any other night that feels right works, too. I pretty much just wait for the feeling and do it then – different day every year.

We easily forget that this dark time of year is exactly the season for letting go. The next year will arrive soon, and this letting go makes space within us for what wants to grow and guide us.

::: ::: ::: :::

|| Holiday Ritual PlayList ||

‘River’ / Sarah McLachlan / Wintersong

‘Wintersong’ / Sarah McLachlan / Wintersong

‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ / Sarah McLachlan / Wintersong

‘Song for a Winter’s Night’ / Sarah McLachlan / Wintersong

‘Glasgow Love Theme’ / Love Actually soundtrack

‘White Christmas’ / Otis Redding / Love Actually soundtrack

‘Prayer of St. Francis’ / Sarah McLachlan / Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff, Vol. 2

 

 

0

My heart is just so sad and tired.

There are more than a thousand words of things I want to say today. My heart and mind hurt so much.

They voted for war against Syria in England yesterday.

There was another mass shooting. And there will be another one tomorrow. Or next week.
(As they say, once we started killing school children and no one changed anything, the battle was over. Mass shootings are now mainstream.)

And, goddammit, I’m so tired of this shit.
I am tired of the gratuitous death. I am tired of the wanton war creation.
I am tired of people who are smoldering in their racism and religion to the point of hatred.
I am tired of so goddamn many guns being available.
(3.7 million assault rifles in America. I’m really clear we don’t need that many.)

I will write another post about this. And certainly all this death and destruction does remind me of Kali and her sacred purpose, and of my own death and how I wish to life a full life.

I am trying to hold on to the hope I see. My friend, Camille, shared with me about Maternity Africa and SlingShotDoc. They, and other organizations, like PATH and Doctors without Borders and CharityWater, show me signs of good.

And I have to remember that this breaking of my heart just opens it to love more. To be more aware. And to fight for all the good that is in Life.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on Earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you based as many as you could.”     -Louise Erdrich

 

 

1