“O” Story B

“O” Story B
I feel like the girl from the book: “Wallbanger”.
I get close
but no actual “O”.
I think she’s been
telling me for a while now
to give her more time and attention.
I ignored her
because
I didn’t need a man
to feel her happiness.
At least, not a man in the flesh.
No men means I
give her more time to express,
and I can give her imagination her head
to run as fast and far as she wants to.
Maybe that’s why she left.
I never gave her much time to stretch.
Her heavy breathing
is my comfort level O,
the one I like the best
yet shortchanges her creativity.
I’m so sorry O.
I could promise not to do it again,
yet I already know
you won’t believe me.
I can promise you a man O,
I know you like men.
I can promise you I will give you
time to express more fully.
You like it and I do too.
I am not patiently waiting O,
just so you know.
I know what used to light you up,
and I’m using every dirty trick
in the book
to bring you back home.
We’re happiest together O,
and I hope you never forget that.

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Camping and A Poem

Over Summer Solstice I was camping with a spiritual group. This poem was the result of shy introvert mouth lock, and a long conversation with another introvert.

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Embers

Back and forth

the fire fights on

in the deep

dark  of the below.

The flames dance and spin,

sparring,

melding,

and folding,

as they stretch ever upward.

The glowing coals

groan silently

as they undulate

in embossed and recessed waves,

orgasms of energy

expended

as the embers release

into ash.

Encounters That Change Perspective

Written by Cameron Lincoln. https://cameronlincoln.wordpress.com/

Written by Cameron Lincoln. https://cameronlincoln.wordpress.com/

These past weeks have been a roller-coaster of self-analysis and a peeling away at my own layers. It has released many tears and connections. New awareness has had a ripple effect across my relationships. I come away from the events of my last post with more understanding and insight on what love is to me and how I want to emulate that sentiment in my life. I am left with clarity on how to better care for myself and give others space. What they need might be different from what I need, and I’d like to respect that as much as possible. Having fun is something I curtailed in the past few years, and now I see why it is necessary method of recharging for me. I have decided to go out more and to “practice” dating. I say the word “practice”, because it is easier to start intimidating things if the thoughts around the decision are gentle.

I met a guy while I was out a few weeks ago who continues to pop in my mind. There are many things that I liked about him, and I find myself hard pressed to put them into words using this medium. What I can say is that he was great at being involved in our conversation, which I’m still shocked that I started. I began as painfully shy, and though I have worked hard at healing, it still comes up. I liked how comfortable I felt with him.  I liked how we had a conversation about one subject, yet seemed to be saying other things. Interacting with him pulled me out of my comfort zone in a good way. So good I got very flustered and couldn’t maintain my composure. I found myself compelled to touch him when that isn’t my normal. It was a moment in a bar, one that will stick with me for a while. He moved me in those moments in ways I had never allowed before.

He left me intrigued, never giving up anything he didn’t want to, and never being disrespectful or impolite. I was left wanting more, and being very clear with myself on what that was. We did not exchange names or phone numbers. I once heard dating coach Matthew Hussey say: “The thing about regret is that you don’t feel it yet”. I get it, Matt. I feel it now and I’m kicking myself. I didn’t think I was ready to date. I had no idea that I was just resisting the idea. I was always ready. I just needed to decide to jump in or stay on the shore. I’m jumping.

There are still things I don’t know. Places in me that are tender. My mind and heart still need more communing. I do know that I am feeling more ready to be open to the new.

Big Thank you to Cameron Lincoln (https://cameronlincoln.wordpress.com), who graciously let me post his poem here.

Love and Heartbreak

https://zoeyhart.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/place/

“Place” written by Zoey Hart

I write about love as I see it on my blog because I don’t remember what it feels like to be loved by a lover or partner. I have been sitting for over a month with my recent heartbreak.  I wonder how I got here. I planned well. I avoided love by way of having lovers. That’s what divorcees do, right? Protect their hearts while they raise their children alone. Or do they do what seemingly half the divorced population does and marry again within a year or two? I’m the other one. I open only when sparked, and that happens very rarely.

I prepared for heartbreak. I set up the perfect situation, but I forgot pieces of myself that I’d closed off in my younger, depressed years. I also mis-remembered certain important details of my former lover’s situation. Diversity is exciting, yet sometimes differences can break a relationship if communication isn’t happening(yet appears to be happening).  In hindsight, it clearly wasn’t happening.

I am left feeling, for lack of a better term, used, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  This feeling tells me that I created illusions in order to be ok with something I missed. My lover was clear in this, but our understanding of what love is and how it is demonstrated was definitely different. To me, love is a sharing. An honesty. A reveal of the things I fear about myself, an unveiling of parts of me that not everyone else gets to see.

Love is a dance of many veils being removed, one after another until you stand naked. As is. If it is good love, love that edifies, you want to dance in it because there is so much joy. If the love is fearful, full of anxiety, or selfish, it hurts. There is a range of this, which is why I often think back to the times when things “almost worked”.  Why do I do that?

I am left vulnerable and open, trying to figure out why I loved so hard, when they were clear that they didn’t. Perhaps if I had felt treated with respect in more than a sexual way, in this case, I think I would be less angry. This one was not intended to work, and I was ok with that. It hurts more because the lover I knew, the one I thought was also unveiling to me wasn’t.  I just wish there had been more honesty and consideration.

Since there wasn’t, my exit shouldn’t be a surprise. I do love myself. I look forward to further exploring what that means as I continue to let go and move forward with the rest of my life.  I just want to meet more people that really understand how to use healthy boundaries and sharing.

Credits:

A big heartfelt “Thank you!” to Zoey Hart (https://zoeyhart.wordpress.com/author/zoeyhart), for agreeing to let me use her poem on my blog. I caught it on twitter and it was perfect for use here. She gave me the courage to post this instead of just writing it to myself.

The Love Environment

I woke to the angry tapping of my window glass against the frame as it sat restlessly in the pane, the once sweet slumber of my bedroom’s sole occupant destroyed by the harmless wind that had no idea how hard it was for me to get to sleep last night. Tossing and turning, I tried to shut out the noise. Of course, I couldn’t. Thoughts churned in my mind, turning over and over on how love is about embracing and accepting things that don’t always rub you the right way. Love has a way of stretching us, of taking us past our comfort zone and teaching us about ourselves through the lessons it gives. I know I have learned the most about myself in my love experiences, from the painful ones to the joyous ones.

Photographer, D. Sharon Pruitt.

Photographer, D. Sharon Pruitt.

Friendships are with people you love. At least, I hope so. I’m going to assume (cringe @ ass-u-me) your friendships are with people you care for and not void fillers. Love has many flavors, many shades and expressions that can look like anything we understand or receive as caring. The love I have for my children is different from that of a lover, another family member, or a friend. Even friends have their different levels of closeness and depth. All are different aspects of love. I have yet to meet a person I could not love or try to love in some way. Some of these people have no idea how much I care, while others second-guess it. That is ok. Love is something you can feel on your own; however, the expression of it/the action bits require some form of mutual participation.

Balance plays a big part in the perception of love and how well a relationship functions. Most people see balance as tit-for-tat, or you give me this and I pay you back (and vice versa). That is a trade relationship, in my opinion. Last time I checked our interpersonal relationships are not business transactions. Our relationships are about connection, and everything I’ve seen involving keeping score brings an element of competition to relationships that degrade the foundation of connection. Viewing love with expectations, which are about your viewpoint rather than what the other person sees, is a sure way to place distance and stress on a relationship. Being in a curious state of mind, seeking to understand instead of to blame goes a long way in keeping connections flowing freely.

Checking judgment is also vital to the love experience. How many times has someone shared something with you that was just as surprising to you as it was for them to actually say? In a space that is safe, where you know retaliation or negative speak will not come, is the space of non-judgment. I am a highly sensitive person, and if I see judgment on someone’s features (or worse out of their mouth) I am not likely to be very vulnerable with that person again. Opening up is a risk, and is an indicator of how safe someone feels with you. Being in a place of non-reception is a disservice to the honor a person gives by handing you a piece of them. Stowing thoughts about what you would do in someone else’s shoes is a great way to begin active listening and bridge the gap of understanding. Which moves you closer to true connection, something we all want.

photo credit: Gerhard Singer via photopin cc

photo credit: Gerhard Singer via photopin cc

Curiosity and empathy help to edify communication and freedom. Asking “why” and double checking your reception of statements help your loved one feel understood and heard. What an amazing feeling to experience and hold inside as you move through the world! Empathy is closely associated with compassion and is more than just trying to logically understand where someone is coming from. Empathy means pulling from your own similar experiences to viscerally understand where someone is in their experience of the moment. It means remembering that once you were not as knowledgeable as you are now, and that we all learn as we go. We take in our experiences and grow from them, or we keep experiencing them until we do.

How we communicate our level of caring, the words we choose, the space we give them to be themselves, how well we listen to understand, and how often we reach out creates an environment of trust and acceptance for others. Hopefully, we are creating a similar environment that we would also like to feel at home in. Love, trust, and communication is a doorway that swings both ways. Working together with an attitude of flexibility and empathy brings us closer to having the best experience of love each relationship brings to our mutual table.

Death and Freedom

What is it about death that makes me ache to let go of my limitations? Maya Angelou, Robin Williams, and now an Uncle are gone. Their light snuffed out forever. I look at the projected time I have left and know that I still have my training wheels on. Why? Why have I been so afraid to assume my own talents and passions? The answer is simple. They don’t look like societies version of life.  How many of you hate the idea of nine-to-five work? Me, too.  I can do it. At least, I have in the past. With fourteen years of military service under my belt, I’ve done more than the nine-to-five. It doesn’t fulfill me. Working for someone else’s dream makes me feel like a robot, and that is merely existing to me.

How can I teach my daughters to get to know themselves and to step into their dreams; how can I ask my friends what their passions are and how they move forward on their passions, yet not do the same for myself? I’d be a very hypocritical leader and teacher if I didn’t embody my own advice. I’ve had opportunities coming in small waves for over a year now, and I’d been to insecure to take some risks and step into my dreams. No longer. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be fulfilling, even if it doesn’t look like what everyone else is doing.

freed

 

I know that I’m not the only one with my interests, though it seems we are a dying breed. Maybe that is why these passions burn so brightly in me, to bring them back into the light. Either way, there is no known second lease on life. Being here is a one-way ticket. Looking hard at this, I feel compelled to live as fully as I can, deeply, with as much love and excitement as possible. Bring on the adventure. Bring on the color. I want to be on the roller-coaster of hills and valleys with my hands held high and not clenched in my lap.  Life is too short to live it less than fulfilled.

Is there someone you always want to get to know better, but are too nervous to talk to? Do have a passion you hide from your friends and family?  Are your friends telling you what a great story teller/artist/singer/insert- your- thing-here you are?  Why not take some baby steps toward making those passions a reality? Why not allow yourself to shine in the way only you can? Join me as I step into myself, and into freedom. It is time to take the training wheels off and ride like the wind.

Follow Through

Several recent flirting expeditions brought to my attention how I see follow through in regards to relationships. Follow through? What is that? It looks like many things. Follow through is completing projects, calling when you say you will, and showing up when you say you’ll be somewhere. We all know that things happen. Sometimes something comes up, social anxiety hits, you get sick, etc. Part of follow through is making sure your excuses are not just excuses that land you on the sidelines. Did something come up just this one time and you followed through on the next attempt? Yes? That is acceptable. The problem with lack of follow through is in the consistency of it.

Follow through is not a desire or motivation issue, contrary to popular belief. It is a discipline issue. Teaching yourself to finish a goal is a matter of perspective, and is accomplished by breaking a large task into smaller, more manageable ones. You want to call that guy or girl, but anxiety is keeping you down? Text is ok for a while. Introduce playful banter, and then ask them to call you. Make it a game. Are you overwhelmed in the writing of your first novel and swimming in a sea of words, lost in your own timeline? Try note cards, a science project board with images and handwritten notes on it, or use a dry erase marker and your bedroom wall. The thing is to do something out of your ordinary, something you won’t forget or lose track of, which helps with consistency.

 

triumph powerful

 

In relationships, lack of follow through is a breeding ground for resentment and mistrust. It leaves the balanced power of a healthy and loving relationship extremely vulnerable to sabotage from inside, suffocating one (or more, if you’re polyamorous) partners power. Consistent lack of follow through can be a major reason a dating relationship never grows into more, and why an established relationship falls apart. The ability to date even after the relationship is “secured” by living together, domestic partnership, or marriage is imperative to the strength and health of the partnership. Lack of follow though in the long-term relationship creates distance and an imbalanced power dynamic. It affects dependability and respect, (yes the all-important “R” word). I find it extremely difficult to respect a friend or partner that has trouble with follow through. Mind you, if this is a known issue and the affected is really working at discipline, i.e. trying different methods to spark creativity, or using multiple reminders to remember appointments, etc., I tend to rethink the “R” word and cut them some slack.

woman triumph

Again, consistency is key, and we are not all machines. The ability to grow and evolve are very attractive qualities. Someone that knows they have an issue, that sees it, and instead of letting it victimize them uses that knowledge as fuel to grow and move toward balance, well…that is quite interesting. Admirable. Sexy. Inspirational. That is the kind of person I want to know, to be close to, to be friends with or possibly more.

You are not stuck with your “flaws”, they are pieces of you that are ripe for growth and evolution. They don’t define you, and they are definitely not all of who you are. Vulnerability is not just opening up about feelings. It is about honesty. One of the highest forms of love is honesty. Loving yourself is the first step to empowerment. Empowerment is about knowing yourself, why you make the choices you make, and knowing that you can make new choices.  Being able to change things in your life gives you freedom, which then leads to happiness. Empowerment is about seeing and effectively using personal power in a healthy way.  Lack of follow though is often an issue that can be investigated, troubleshot, and corrected if you approach it as an area that needs growth instead viewing it as a weakness you’re stuck with.

Back in my flirting life, I’m having lovely conversations and getting to know some great people. What separates friends from potential lovers (if there was initial attraction) is consistency, follow through, and the ability to evolve. Attraction is different for everyone, and one person’s criteria for a perfect ten will be different from another’s. Remembering that helps me see that there is someone for everyone. Maybe even someone for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow through affects more than interpersonal relationships. Please see below for a few links with more information on how to transform this condition.

An article outlining was to combat follow through in business:  http://psychologyforbusiness.com/articles_psychwork5.htm

A more personal take on how to get past the guilt and negative self-talk that comes from lack of follow through: http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/01/your-problem-isnt-motivation/

Lovely article, “The Art of Following Through”: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/learn-the-art-of-following-through-5-steps-to-ensure-you-will-achieve-your-goals/