Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: relationships

I love and accept you just as you are right now

While I was going to bed last night, this was the phrase that kept coming to me. “I love and accept you just are you are right now.”

I was thinking of a family member, one who I had always held at a distance, and I cannot begin to describe the emotion and the love that began to flow from me to them. In an instant, I saw them, not as I always had, through the judgmental eyes that I had, but through the lens of compassion. Instead of thinking of the changes I thought they should make, or that would be easy for them to do, I felt their suffering. I was deeply pained by things I had never thought of. The problems, issues and prejudices that they had to face every day. How blind I was to their continuous suffering, which I know was so painful for them as well. It was truly one of those moments that knocked me down and showed me how far I have been from truly loving.

I continued to say it. I continued to tell them through my thoughts and prayers that I love and accept them exactly as they are right now. Through the compassionate suffering I felt they were going through, I also felt deep love that I didn’t know I could give to someone. I felt the power of this love course through me and descend upon them. For the first time, I felt the depth and love of  true acceptance.

After this experience, I realize I am a toddler in this life, just learning these new things, having a breakthrough in a step towards walking in love. While incredibly simple, I know I will fall down again. But for today, and for all consciously lived days ahead, I will continue to genuinely love and accept those in my life, and myself, exactly as we are right now.

A Call To Arms

This might be one of my most important posts to date, since it directly addresses another message that is gaining momentum and attention.  I sat this morning reading an article from yesterday’s New York Times entitled “In Seeking Love, Find Strength in Numbers” and with every sentence I gasped again and again in shock.

I truly feel that the message of described in this article of these two up and coming authors Ms. Rebecca Wiegand and Ms. Jessica Massa, of Gaggle, is wrong. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is the direct opposite of what we should be listening to and learning.

This message, delivered in small group discussions during happy hours in NYC and in their book is essentially to not only accept, but to embrace the horribly low standards for romantic relationships that seem to be around us. According to the article, these women talk about embracing hook up culture, expecting text messages instead of phone calls and relinquishing the “rules” of yesteryear. “We cannot expect to impose upon this world a set of rules, a set of regulations, a set of expectations.”

Oh really? These two authors, who I would love to know their love story, are out spreading a message that will truly never let the Perfect, Divine Love and Relationship come to them or those that buy into their standard-lowering propaganda.

That is why this post is a call to arms. I cannot help but act against them and their message. It is our responsibility, as established women with great dreams, to hold the bar high. To plant and stand firm by the standards that we desire in our lives and in our relationships. It is NOT asking for too much to have monogamy, phone calls, flowers-  yes, romance. That is asking of the littlest we could – it’s like asking for air to breath.

As A Course in Miracles states, “it is not that we ask for too much, but that we are asking for too little”. You must hold true to our highest standards – to falling head over heels in love with someone who understands you and gets you more than you understand yourself. To having high romance, where he comes before you and fulfills your dreams for you. It is about feeling more free sexually than you have ever dreamed because you can open up in the safest place have ever known- his arms. It is passionate. It is beautiful. It is exciting. It is challenging. It is deep, deep Love.

As I have written before, I will write again – Nothing, absolutely nothing, is too good to be true -especially when it comes to romantic love.

This man who completes you, who brings out the very best in you, who is fun and sexy and so deeply loving, exists. He is wishing and waiting and wanting you just as badly as you are him. The time will come. You will meet and you will not know what has happened. While everything seemed to be normal you will be rocked at your core because “the one”, the person you are connected to in ways that you cannot see or understand, has just met you again, for the first time. Nothing will be the same. No light will look the same; no food will taste the same. When you meet you are changed on a cellular level, forever.

This is the love we are all entitled to. It is not just for some of us, but for every one of us. It is one of the greatest gifts Life has to offer. We actually have to do very little to open up this inheritance – we must love ourselves and Life with the love we would shower on this person – and we must, at all costs, keep our ideal as our standard.

You are so deeply loved that you cannot even comprehend it. This Divine Love is your birthright. It is real. Wake up today and see it all around you. In everything you do, know that it is rushing towards you this very day. If it doesn’t arrive until tomorrow, you’ll be ready-  tanned and joyous from your time dancing in the light of this truth.

Accumulate Pages, Not Judgments

I read  “accumulate pages, not judgments” on Sunday in The Artist’s Way and am still thinking about it. What a brilliant idea, so simply put. 

As I wrote yesterday the first few pages of a new proposal for a book I have been thinking about for some time, I faced the fear that comes whenever words finally appear in front of you. Judgments started to fly, self-deprecating thoughts slashed at the pages. Yet a simple awareness of my judging was present. I was committing to writing, not to being perfect. I began the journey of accumulating pages under one particular topic, not of doubting myself or the words.

In my experience, it is such an act of faith to proceed forward toward the completion of your dreams, since your mind, in its authoritative tone, gallantly strides in to hinder any progress.

While it sounds crazy, I think this is why I like reading poorly written books sometimes. If someone wrote that, why can’t I? There is really not a prerequisite that a book needs to be well written (although this is usually greatly appreciated). Nor is there any prerequisite for what it has to be. If someone wrote, what I would consider “bad”, had an editor and then a publisher like it, and then other people, then, really, who am I to judge?

While my life project is writing, you might have another one. It may be health or love, or music or business. This post is to encourage you to pursue it, one step at a time, and accumulate the small things that make the whole of your greatest contribution. You are in the business of gathering these small steps and pieces of your dream, not judgments. Trust in Life that it will work through you. It will supply you with the right material, words, ideas. But you need to show up to work. You need to put pen to paper, as much as possible, since that is how we all accumulate – little by little, day by day, through the muck of our own judgments we choose to leave behind.

Look out for Icebergs

I realized this past week, as I was in a conversation, that when we make a new acquaintance, we really don’t know the depth of the person. How quickly we cast judgements (or at least I do) that they are this way or they are that. Or dare I say, we even in our mind think of what they can do for us (I hope is that this thought is shifted to, What can I do for them). The reality is that we know so little from just meeting a person. It truly is, just the tip of the iceberg.

The bulk, the majesty, the massive contribution of each person usually lies under the surface, hidden from our view. Yet we encounter these icebergs every day. Each person has not only a story that supports them, but a growing contribution to the world that we cannot see.

What if we approached more people and more moments conscious of the whole iceberg, with the curiosity of a scientist wanting to know more about their depth? What if we went into every situation knowing that we truly can only see the tip of the matter or the person, at best.

What if we greeted everyone with the acknowledgement of their strength and power to create mountains and change the world?

What if?

The Fear of Disappointing Those We Love

I experienced recently the raw emotion of what it feels like to disappoint someone. This friend that I had to tell I couldn’t make their wedding, which occurs in a few weeks, and which I was so honored to be a part of the ceremony, demonstrated the most magnificent amount of grace I had ever experienced her having.

While I sit with the discomfort of upsetting another (particularly around their wedding day!) I am reminded of how many things I do, and we all do, to avoid this pain. Now I am the first to admit that this blog is a personal reflection. While my friend demonstrated more graciousness than I expected despite the upset-ness she might have felt , I needed to process and understand this situation from my end, from the pain I was feeling of having let someone else down.

The good I can gleam from this experience is that I did face a fear. I, being a pleaser type, will go to great lengths to make other people’s lives and experiences better and easier. This has served me in many of my jobs, since I seek roles where I can serve others, but I won’t deny that some part of this too stems from my great fear of letting someone else down. I reap great significance from “not being a bother”. I find this is something I try to offer to society and all the circles of friends I have and associations I am a part of. But the truth is, we all cause a ripple. Sometimes, we can’t help but to rock someone else’s boat.

So what? Being honest and facing the fact that we will and do disappoint others at times (even important times) is a learning process just like being rejected whether from a job, a lover, an agent, a dream. Accepting the fact that you can’t please everyone and yourself will cause discomfort. Owning up to the fact that you hurt someone else by disappointing them will humble you and shake your foundation, if it is built on pleasing others.

For all these reasons, and I am sure many more, we have to live through the experience of disappointing others. I believe, however, having had this experience, that now I too can grow more into the gracious woman I hope to be. Having lived through the understanding of another, I hope I can offer grace instead of anger next time I am disappointed in someone. I hope next time I am let down, I remember the pain I feel, and offer understanding instead of criticism, love instead of annoyance.

And the next time I have to disappoint, I hope I can do it courageously while trusting that all will be well, as I remember, that as important as I do think I am (as we all do think of ourselves) our presence or lack there of doesn’t have the ability to stop their show, their beauty, their life and their grace. No. The show (or the wedding) will always go on. As will your friendship and growth in each other.

Sacred Carriers of Your Gifts..

The most remarkable thing happened to me this time last year.

After a challenging year at work and in my personal life, I had made the commitment to “refresh” myself. I was in such a lost state that I literally could only think one step ahead in regards to how I could change my then current condition. Like an injured Katniss in the Hunger Games, I was moving from one tree to the next, not thinking big picture.  “Where and when have I been happiest?”. From here, I thought, “Ok, camp was a place where I have felt my best. Happier beyond compare to any other environment.” Next though- ” Ask if you can come back.”

Limping, emotionally, from the battle wounds of work and this “lost nature” I had adapted to, I was lucky enough to be embraced back into the fold of camp.

Slowly, but surely, as the IV of camp meals, songs, and old friends revived my spirit back to what it had been, I began to heal.

But this is not the remarkable thing I hope to talk about today. The remarkable thing was that not only did the environment contain me safely in its sunscreened boundaries, but the place actually had to offer me back sacred bits of myself.

I had come to a cabin one night on an errand of the nurses, and I waited outside while the counselor finished a devotion. I could hear through the screendoor her words and instruction and then the giggles and gleaming from the children. When I heard the details my knees started to give out and I slumped down with my back against the door of the cabin.

She was doing the devotion I had thought of and brought to camp 6 years before. I had completely forgotten about it. I had forgotten the message and the heart of it. It was my message and my heart. It was a missing piece of my soul that unknowingly I entrusted into the folds of camp and the spirit of the people. Little did I know that years later, when I needed to find and bind that part of myself back into me, it would be here, graciously given in miraculous ways.

A couple of weeks later, the same thing happened, with a different ritual I had done with the girls when I was there. Again, something within me was restored. It was the message I was seeking. It was a part of myself I had forgotten.

For the first time in my life I understood fully the meaning of getting what you give.

Here, over years, over change, over hundreds of campers, the things I had given, the parts of myself that I had fully expressed enthusiastically and with the most genuine love, were graciously bestowed upon my forgotten self.

I realized in these moments that to give anything, especially the truest parts of yourself, is the only way, the only guarantee, of it surviving, and of your enjoyment of it again.

We often think of “you get what you give”  in material ways, but what of the spirit within you? There will be times when you lose it. These will be the dark days, the days of feeling lost. But if you gave your Spirit, your greatest self to anything or anyone before, these sacred carriers will come back onto your path h to share the forgotten messages and pieces of your soul that you seemed to have lost.

Greet Like a Dog

There was once when I thought it was actually unnatural and a waste of money to have a dog.

I can hear the gasps of dog lovers everywhere and can see your fingers move to the mouse to click off of this post. But wait!…. I have turned completely, and in fact find dogs to be one of Life’s best gifts.

That is why today’s post is dedicated to a lesson from them. Life certainly speaks to us through pets! And I hope to remember for myself to have the courage to be more like a dog.

Last night, I lay in bad as I usually do and thought of the many good things that were in my day, one consistent memory that kept bringing a smile to my face was of our dog and my parents dog greeting me. They were both so enthusiastic it was as if they didn’t have any control over their bodies. They were jumping up and down, spinning in circles, running into me and bulldozing me over – and this happened again and again! Nevermind the fact that I was the one that put our dog in his kennel for 6 hours before. Nevermind that I was going to have to put him back in his kennel in just 30 minutes. No. I was the greatest, most wonderful, most exciting person they could see. I was their heroine and their love. That was abundantly clear

It was amazing to me to think about how loved, needed and excited this made me feel. All this coming from a dog- an animal without anything to give – except their presence.  As always, this made me think – why don’t we feel that we have enough to give to others, when a dog can give me so much? Why have I not recognized my presence and energy as a gift to give others? Why have I not greeted those I love and new friends in this way?Isn’t this presence and excitement what we really want from the ones we love?

My mind went straight to think of a handful of camp friends who actually do greet me like my dog greets me.  They run and jump! They scream and throw their hands up in the air! I feel like the greatest, most wonderful person in the world – all because I simply showed up. I could remember the very first time they greeted me like this, it was as if all of a sudden I was initiated into a secret club of friendship – a membership that confirmed I was loved, I was fun, I was enough, I was part of their world. When one feels this from another it is hard not to become addicted to their presence and the love they so naturally outpour.

While a few people get to spend a lot of time at camps, where this greeting might be more prevalent, why can’t we create that culture and this salutation tradition in our own lives, every day? What would happen in our homes if we greeted each family member this way, consistently? How would our friendships change? How would our work environments or schools be altered? How different would your intimate relationship be if  you committed to simply dropping everything you were doing when your love walked it and you ran to them with enthusiasm and butted your head into them, and gave them your undivided attention?

Theoretically, we can see, that this is so easy a dog can do it. Yet as humans we tend to complicate things a little. We hold back because to act and greet like a dog is actually a very risky thing. We risk looking like fools. We risk being rejected, shot down, overrun by someone’s negativity or lack of reception. But, like I said, dogs do it every day – and they don’t expect anything in return. They simply cannot help it. Could we be willing to give and act from a place where rejection doesn’t even register as a possibility, the place where, like dogs, we are so fully in the moment and loving, loving, loving? It will be then that we have the ability to change someone’s day. We can then alter their moods, their outlooks, their consistent and perhaps damaging mental loops that they ride on continuously. We can love them through a greeting. We can bring an unconditional excitement and life to them for just being them. And we can do this with everything that we already have with us right now.

Statute of Limitations – A method of forgiveness

I love this idea – and I can report that it has proven quite useful to me recently. The problem we all have with some relationships is that transgressions of our past are brought up now (and we are talking about mistakes we make years and years ago that those around us won’t let us forget!) Will we ever be released from these past mistakes? Will we ever learn how to release others?

I believe we will, and can, however sometimes it takes us asking for it, from both others and ourselves.

In this country there is a very important law that states that someone cannot be tried for a crime after a certain period of time.  This is called the Statute of Limitations. You cannot be brought to court for a crime  after this time (I believe 7 years), by law in this country. Unfortunately, our relationships don’t have such a law! Instead, we might still be reminded and abused by past transgressions, that we obviously have no control over, since we cannot go back and change the past!

I have always been bothered by the fact that my father brings up mistakes I made when I was much younger. These errors of getting in trouble as a teenager, hurting a boat when I was 14, not knowing what to wear to a nice dinner when I was 12 are still brought to my attention. I can do nothing about them, and obviously, and hopefully, I learned from them. The question now becomes, though, how to rid it from having it come up so that our relationship can move forward instead of consistently be brought down by the past.

This is where the statute come in. I used it on my father! We were driving with my mother the other day, when he brought up one of these past mistakes. I paused and then simply asked him, “Dad, are you familiar with the Statute of Limitations this country has?” The question was enough for him to make the connection and understand what I was asking for. He laughed.

“I would like, Dad, to enact the Statute of Limitations here in this relationship. You cannot bring up any wrong-doing that was more than 7 years ago. And I will do the same.”

He had a lot of rebuttal – but in the end, I simply held my own. “If our country can enact this law for criminals, surely, you can do it for your daughter.”

While this was only a few weeks ago, we have held steady and he has not mentioned any of these past “things” he use to harp on. This feels much better to me.

When I was thinking about this idea this morning, I realized too, that I can apply this to myself. There were errors I made in judgement and actions in my past, that I have held close to me, allowing them to define me and defile my character in my own opinion. Yet, these were more than 7 years ago! When can I let go? When can I be free from these mistakes? Could I too can apply this here and feel more free, safe and whole?

I offer this up as a useful tool, inspired by Cloe Madanes, that can change relationships – to others and ourselves. If there is someone nagging or treating you badly (including yourself) because of a mistake long ago in the past, remember that even the legal system has ways of moving on!

Crazy Love

This weekend I had the privilege of being with some of my best friends. It the occasion of one of their weddings and the excitement of simply being together was palpable, if not noticeable by the incessant dancing on the tables and hugging and singing with each other. It is so wonderful and so refreshing to spend time so excited!

Not only were we able to celebrate this weekend together, but we were able to celebrate another engagement and the decision of one of us to move to New York to pursue a dream they had always wanted.

As i think back and talk to others about this weekend, I cannot help but think of how “crazy” all of it is. These decisions – the quality decisions about our lives and the courses they will take, appear to us as “crazy”, “risky” yet also necessary.

In my toast to the happy couple during the rehearsal dinner, I slipped a bit and said the word “controversy” when I meant to say “conflict” in describing the natural course of marriage. However, the word fit and was appropriate in some ways for this couple. There is one very noticeable difference between the couple, and sometimes it is hard for us to see beyond this to the love and similarities they do share. To some this was “crazy”, even to the couple themselves. Yet when we stop and realize the truth of our souls, sometimes it is wildly incongruent to the path we “thought” we would have or were taught to have.

It is this that I think is the message of this weekend. It’s the idea that Love, in all its forms, whether it be of another person or of a career, in its very essence is crazy. It is a risk. It is new. It is the boldest thing we can do and I admire those who step forward and do it, proclaiming to the world that in fact they do love each other or this path – no matter what.

While this doesn’t mean that there won’t be hard times, difficulties, and the like, it does mean that we are alive. The choice to love and to follow love, to commit to love, despite circumstances that are less than ideal, or the typical norm, is a brave and laudable action.

This is why, I do believe, that this idea of “crazy” has to be examined more. Something that we might call “crazy” shouldn’t be an excuse anymore for not doing it (with the exception of something that harms us). In fact, if anything, I think “crazy” could  become more or a flagged word, helping us to see that in fact it is exactly what must be done in order to lead a life more true to ourselves and our dreams.

The truth is that any venture – whether in love, career, body, life – that actually is going to make a difference, is going to be at least “kind -of crazy”. If it is crazy then it is something that we have not been doing before (almost guaranteeing a different result than what we have produced before). It also shows that there isa risk and all risk can be associated with some type of “crazy”. When there is no risk, Life seems to be less active, less engaging, less “meant-for us”.

That is why this is another toast – to the friends that have stood up and embraced the “crazy” and followed their love. It is a toast to their boldness, and the loyalty they have to what they are feeling. It is a toast to their courage as they took the steps towards their dream, no matter what others may say or think.

This is a toast to the love in all of us that is crazy. May it bring peace into your Soul and excitement into every day.

Awakening the Goddess Within

I don’t know if you have ever experienced this before, when someone gives you a compliment and it just doesn’t jive. You smile and say thanks, but something within you simply doesn’t click with what the person is saying. It isn’t that you don’t think of yourself that way, but rather that  the compliment points to the wrong aspect of you. It is like someone coming over for dinner compliments the meal by attributing great taste to the plate it is served on.  It just misses the mark entirely.

I have had this experience when my husband has called me “smokin’ hot”. Don’t get me wrong, I am very flattered, but I don’t think I ever laid in bed as a little girl hoping and wishing to be made “hot”, none the less, “smokin'”. I get it. There are times, truly, when he looks so good I can’t find the right word, and our culture and language limits me to “hot”, as well. But the truth is that he is devastatingly handsome at those times. He is irresistible. He is debonair. When I use those words, yes, I suddenly feel more accurate in describing what I am seeing and experiencing.

Well a few years ago Drew paid me a compliment that hit me to my core and blew my mind. It clicked like nothing had before. It resonated with something deep within me and struck a chord that pointed to a true nature that had lay dormant for my entire life.

He called me a Goddess.

I loved this so much. This may be because I yearn for the Divine Feminine to boldly embrace every living thing in this world.  Or perhaps because it reflects the highest compliment of Truth I believe anyone can have – a recognition of the Divinity that they are.

The Truth as I understand it is that without any doubt there is the Goddess energy and being living in every woman (and man, just not quite as much, since he has more of the Masculine Divinity). This Divinity moves sultry through the bedroom, She nourishes those who are hungry for Truth, and She expresses through tears, laughter, dancing, indescribable beauty. The Goddess is the one who dances with Life through sunsets and blazing fires. The Goddess looks straight into fears and the unknown and extends her rebel yell or delicate song to break the darkness and create a net of lights to travel along. The Goddess is the highest good and the one that recognizes there is no “right” or “wrong” but that it is all her lover, her teacher, her friend, her beloved Life.

This is why Drew calling me a Goddess gave me pause. He was acknowledging this higher self, this Being of light that our culture and religions have squelched or denied in its true feminine form. For me, it was the invitation somehow to be spiritual and in love in my own womanly ways.

It is unfortunate that Goddesses are relegated to the past, to ancient history and cultures looked upon historically and not spiritually. It is a shame because this world is overcome by millions of Goddesses, ready and excited to embrace Life, to create Life, to dance with Life. This Goddess lives in every woman. I was lucky enough to have my man point it out, but this then took me till my mid-twenties. What if we went and met the goddess within us sooner? What if She was welcomed to rule our mind and our actions? Where would she take us? Trespassing and skinny dipping in a neighbor’s pool under the full moons embrace? To a street corner where a man needs some food, and She offers him a meal and Her coat? To the freshly tilled soil hot under the noon-day sun pressed underneath Her bare feet?

How would your life be different if every morning you greeted this Divine aspect that dances around your altar before even you get out of bed?

How would your days play out if She played in them?

She is real. The Goddess lives within you and is you.  She is a force to be reckoned with, bowed down to and shaken awake. For Life has a policy of serving the Divinely Perfect Goddess when she is awakened within you, It brings Her nothing less than her Divine expectations in everything. Recognize this in yourself, or in the women around you, and nothing will ever be the same.