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November 2009

People I Love Who Love Me: a Thanksgiving tribute.

There are so many people and experiences that I'm grateful for. And since this seems to be the time of year when we feel moved to celebrate that, in honor of all the wonderful people in my life I put together this short Thanksgiving video for all to enjoy. (If you cannot view the video click here.) Thank you...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my loves and to all my fans!

Disclaimer: There are some of you out there (you know who you are), who hold a special place in my heart but I could not find an appropriate picture to share. I love you and I'm so grateful to have all of you in my life, whether or not you are pictured here!

Still crying, still living

I go to my appointments and meet my friends. I walk through the streets with a box of tissues, unable to stop the tears. So many things run through my head...a letter I never sent; things I said and did out of anger that didn't reflect my love - only my fear; the incredible moments of tenderness and freedom that were shared with a heart connection - moments that I had never imagined possible with anyone; my inability to wait it out - forcing the issue and making him retreat back into the comfort of his rule-driven life instead of allowing him to truly weigh the significance of our experience; how I love him and how truly amazing he is; how I didn't respect that he wasn't yet ready to fully trust that anything is possible; how afraid I was that his fear would stop him from believing that he could have more in this life than following expectations - expectations he agreed to before he'd lived everything and before he knew all of what was possible; and how I hurt him and myself by getting caught up in the struggle and forgetting the wonder.

And most painfully, the moment he told me it was all a mistake. Relegating it to..."mainly a text and telephone relationship" - denying the fact that we were compelled to text and talk because of the complete connection we share. I fear that because I lost sight of the truth of the inevitability of our connection, I put him a position where he felt compelled to assess what we shared as wrong. I know he felt the magic but he doesn't live in a world of magic - so he dismissed it, because what we share is something that is beyond commitment due to a promise or coming together due to responsibility.

We shared magic - but he doesn't believe in magic.

I fear that because I selfishly wanted to celebrate the wonder that is us every day, and because I didn't allow him to struggle with the truth for the time he needed, I pushed him away. And I pushed so hard that I didn't give him the chance to see that - even though what we share doesn't fit into his life as it is - what we have is still real and true. It cannot be turned off simply by thinking it away, or by denying it or by putting it in a box called "wrong". Just saying it was wrong, doesn't make it wrong. It was for me the most right and true thing I ever had or will have. As he would say...this is the stuff of fairy tales. And no matter what anyone tells me, I know that fairy tales come true. They are, after all, stories based on the truest of human experience - the heart. And he has the most beautiful heart I've ever known.

Unfortunately, we live in world that values the rational and separates out the heart as frivolousness. And sometimes the need to feel safe is so strong it clouds the heart. And since I represent him following his heart and ignoring his responsibilities, I don't fit into his world. I never would have wanted to put him in such a challenging place; a place where he felt unable to embrace that he/we could have both...

Life is full of paradoxes. He use to say that I'm very black and white in my thinking...maybe so. But in this case, I believe that BOTH his commitment to his current life AND our connection are real; and neither is less valuable or valid than the other. Both exist simultaneously. But that may be too hard to live with. So, I fear he thinks now in black and white...either/or...not both/and.

Still, HE took a chance for the most beautiful and magical time and allowed himself to openly experience a side of himself that he had shut away for so long, and he took that chance with ME. And that says something about the power of what we share.

And although now, he may need to see it as a mistake and seek the safety of what he's used to in order to continue to live within the boundaries he set up for himself (boundaries that may no longer fully work because they don't allow him to embrace all aspects of who he truly is), there was never anything wrong with our coming together. Because there was nothing missing in our connection - it encompassed every part of us - mind/heart/body/soul - it's big. So big that it was/is beyond comprehension. As he would say... it is beyond words.

In my heart, I believe that it is beyond our control who we fall in love with. And love doesn't "make sense." But, I know beyond a doubt that this kind of love is the driving force that feeds our souls. And I know that in the end, when all the hurt and anger and fear and shame fall away, that is what we will be left with. We will be left with a love for one another that changed everything.

But for now, I just cry...

The Value of Patience

Waterhouse_theSouloftheRose-How many times do people tell us to be patient?

Apparently, patience is a highly regarded trait. And the fact that I'm not patient has been brought to my attention by others as a defect. I disagree. I don't see patience as something to aspire to. Yet, it is generally considered an element of good character. One which we try  to instill in our children. But what does being patient really mean? And is patience actually something we should possess in order to be happy and healthy?

I don't think so. I do not value patience, because I see it as something that justifies a belief-system that dis-empowers. So, I'm here to challenge you to reconsider patience as a virtue.

According to Dictionary the definition of Patience is: Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint or Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

So, having patience is the ability to tolerate unbearable circumstances without complaint, and to allow injustice and incompetence to thrive, by keeping an attitude of indifference. As I see it, when someone says, "be patient" what they are saying is, "shut up and put up". And it concerns me that such a thing is considered a virtue.

By encouraging this quality, we create a condition where acknowledging discomfort, or speaking up against it, is discouraged. It sets up an environment were lack of action becomes a legitimized excuse for not making changes to better ourselves or our world. How can this be a good thing?

Seeing patience as a good quality, blinds us to the role it plays in creating and continuing the bad situation by giving credence to feeling righteous in ignoring an unhappy realty -- silently agreeing to living dishonestly by not acknowledging the problems.

Continuing to endure the unendurable by keeping silent, creates victimization. I'm not saying that there are no circumstances where good people are victimized by bad people. I remember 9/11 and I have had crimes committed against me. What I'm saying is - we participate in our own victimization when we patiently stand by. And we give psychologically credence to this by calling patience a virtue.

A person who willingly stands by (practicing patience), puts themselves in a situation where they become the victim of circumstances or, more accurately, a victim of themselves. By emotionally disengaging from their dissatisfaction in a given situation they become unresponsiveness and numb to their discomfort - unable to engage in life fully. Ignoring discomfort, weighs heavily on self-esteem and cultivates a way of thinking that determines behavior. Because, when we ignore our needs, we ignore ourselves and our value - diminishing our self-worth.

The belief that taking action against something painful (or even expressing dissatisfaction) is the wrong thing to do, sets us up to act as if things are okay, when they are not.

I'm impatient because I have little tolerance for putting up with bullshit.

I value myself and each moment of my life too much to waist time on being patient. For me, the ability to silently contend with a bad things seems like a cop out; a justification for standing still in a very uncomfortable place; a way to feel good about being a victim; and a set up for an unsatisfying, unhappy, unhealthy life. Quite the opposite of a virtue, I think.

As I've said before, patience is not a virtue, it is a weakness.