While I am healing my neck I will only be posting once a week. I hope you join Alexis on her journey as she casts light on our human journey and condition.
My daughter, Alexis, writes about her messy pink squiggly heart on her blog today. Not the beating steadily to keep the blood flowing and your organs running kind of heart, but the heart of what matters in life kind of organ. The heart of happiness, love, contentment, joy.
That heart can be a messy place.
It can be filled with unease, insecurity, distrust. It can beat wildly with the abandon of a stallion racing across the plains, or cower timidly as a mouse reaching for the piece of cheese luring it into a trap.
Sometimes, that heart has no sense. It wants only to feel alive, to avoid what is causing it pain, to believe it is safe. And in its yearning for safety, it can open up to danger, to unsafe conditions, to the wrong thing posing as right simply because, that heart can be deaf and blind to its own beat, even when its eyes are wide open to the world outside.
Alexis writes about how, when her father and I separated when she was six, she learned that ‘love could be temporary’. “Happiness is hard for people who don’t trust anyone,” she writes. “Harder still, for those of us who don’t trust love.”
Yesterday, while sharing coffee with the amazing Michelle Jeffrey Horvath, we talked about love and loving and how our human expression of love is sometimes the exact opposite of what love is all about.
LOVE is never temporary or temperamental. It is permanent, eternal, everlasting.
It is how we, its human carriers, express it, live it, know it that can have temporal and time stamped limitations on its durability and presence in our lives.
There was a time when I thought Love came from outside me. I thought ‘in Love’ meant having someone else to keep me safe, make me happy, make me feel like I belonged.
I’ve learned through experience that no one else can give me those things or make me feel those ways. It isn’t someone else’s responsibility to make me feel ‘loved’. It’s mine to know and embrace. When I flow into and with Love in all things, I am always safe, always connected, always at peace. When I allow Love to embrace me with all its capacity to let me live as beauty and the beast, messy squiggles darting everywhere and white doves flying free, there are no limits to its presence in my life and who I can be in its presence.
I have learned that when I share that space called ‘in love’ with another, there are messy places, dark moments, shifting sands that can trip us up or draw us out of love’s abiding presence. In love with another is not synonymous with permanent, it simply means I must continually choose to stand in the broken, leap into the unknown, explore the shadows of who we are together, while holding onto what makes love real and necessary and life-giving between us — our decision to be together, to be in union, to be one with one another.
“In love” doesn’t mean out of stress, out of discord, out of the trigger zone of my own stuff erupting to make me want to run and hide and jettison all reason to stay together.
It simply means, I am willing and open and able to stay present in love’s light, together. Always committed to seeing my beloved as human, as real, as perfectly imperfect as I am in my human condition so that in our perfectly imperfect expression of Love, we see one another through eyes that are loving, with our hearts wide open to the possibility that together, our hearts can beat as one when we let go of judging, condemning, blaming the other for our imperfect beat.
For an entire year, my eldest daughter wrote a blog about recovering from an eating disorder.
Alexis did more than survive. She grew. She challenged. She stretched and pushed and drilled down into her roots and dragged out the things that were not working in her psyche and brushed off the dirt and shone up her soul. As the title, How I Survived Myself, suggests, it was more than just the stories of ‘me and my eating disorder’. Alexis writes about how she got through the stories she told herself about why she was/felt the ways she did to discover there was more to her story than the story of an eating disorder and a past that wasn’t working for her anymore.
Alexis is courageous. She is relentless in her desire to live life on the other side of fear, out in the bright clear air of harmony, serenity and joy, in that place where miracles happen on every breath and wonder abounds.
She is also honest. Breathtakingly so.
She hasn’t written on her blog for awhile, so on Monday night when she called to tell me she had written another post, I was delighted. I know the power of ‘writing it out’. I know the grace of finding yourself on the page. I know how the words let go are the ones that lead to discovering the real story of your life. The one you choose to create after you let go of the one you’ve been telling to keep yourself playing small.
Alexis blog post… And We’re Back.
In showbiz, as it’s sometimes referred to, these words signify the beginning of rehearsal after a break or hiatus. At the sound of the phrase, the company’s members immediately drop all other conversation and activity, the outside world all but vanishes, and the work resumes again.
I say the words now, because it’s the only way I know how to begin.
I’ll be honest, (’cause that’s what I generally try to be here) over the course of these past few months I’ve been on a recess from myself.
I’ve let the world outside steal my thunder, rain on my parade, and pull me away from all that matters.
I’ve allowed myself into meaningless conversations (mostly in my own head), played a victim, and thrown an epic pity party for myself because life wasn’t going as planned.
After weeks on end of sitting in the epic pile of shit I’d created (though I would have told you then I wasn’t in it of my own volition) I found myself in a precarious circumstance: Was I going to keep on getting sucked in to my make-believe stories and backwards thinking, or was I going to let go and start to live again?
Now I’m not saying that that shit I was sitting in wasn’t real. Because in the grips of a depressive episode, the hurt feels about as real as it gets. Keep reading!…