Love and symbiotic relationships.

After years of great friendships, strong family relations, and failed yet worthwhile intimate relationships I’ve come to realize there is a flawed notion of what love entails…especially in intimate relationships…within our society.

Not all love is unconditional like a a faithful parent’s love for their child. Not all love is fluid and timeless like a solid friendship. Not all love is passionate and harmonious like what is deemed as the perfect intimate relationship. It seems though that newer generations like genX and younger believe “if it takes work, it’s not worth it.”

The common thread to keeping love in any relationship alive is very much like caring for a pet or plant. It’s symbiotic in nature. Meaning 1) mutually beneficial; 2) one Being benefits and the other is unaffected, or 3) one Being benefits while the other is harmed.

For instance, in a mutually beneficial relationship with a pet both the caregiver and the pet are happy, provide each other comfort and support, and are healthy. In a one sided benefit that does no harm would be like owning a cactus. The caregiver likes it’s presence but doesn’t provide regular care, which luckily the cactus doesn’t need so is unaffected by the lack of care. In a beneficial yet harmful situation, it would look like a dog owner enjoying having a dog to play with but not taking it for walks, feeding it regularly, or keeping up with its hygiene. The dog suffers.

What we love needs cared for,  especially our dearest relationships. Love needs nurtured, watered, fed, and attention. Some need more than others but if that person brings joy to our lives we step up to ensure it lasts.

What I’ve come to realize is that the effort it takes to keep romantic love mutually symbiotic is no longer considered worthwhile by generations from gen-x and younger. People believe that “if it takes effort then it’s not the right ‘one’ so I’ll move on.”

There are a few caveats to why a loving relationship might be abandoned because “it takes too much work.” There are a lot of things that happen to people that make them (temporarily or continually) ill equipped at putting effort into maintaining meaningful relations. Abuse, addiction, poor role models/educators, or lack of face to face social interaction can all contribute. You know what though…we need to take some responsibility for what is on our plate, for what has been served to us. We can choose to either keep eating the shit life served, or we can say “no, I want something more satisfying so I’ll care for myself so I can do what it takes to care for another.”

All Love is symbiotic. Make sure you are caring for yourself enough to be available to healthily choose and care for another and both of you benefit.

Be humble, be kind, and strive for growth.

 

 

 

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Responsibility for your Self

Nobody controls how your life goes. They may make it challenging…but it’s up to you to decide how to respond. It’s nobody’s fault but your own if things keep going poorly for you. It’s time to make different choices and take different actions. Nobody but you can tell you how you feel or how to live your life…so when they try to…don’t engage or entertain their rants. Don’t feel obligated or degraded by anything they say to you. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Fix it if you can. If you feel everyone is out to get you…or is against you…see a counselor…there’s something bigger going on.

Take responsibility for yourself. Be strong and admit your areas of growth. Be humble and realize NOBODY is perfect but we can all strive for the best we think we can be. Be kind…if you’re angry…figure out why and face it. Same with being afraid. Figure out why and face it. Take responsibility. We can’t just unfriend or delete life. It will continue to happen whether we avoid it, cave in, or fight back. It will keep happening and only you are responsible for what happens to you. Drive like a Boss. 🙂

Dealing with what is not wanted.

Often times life offers us options that are not what we want so we have to make difficult choices in those moments.

Do you love the person that challenges you? Do you forgive the family member that has left you alone? Do you do what makes you feel good? Are you OK with yourself? These are hard questions…and there are more hard questions than what I presented. The bottom line is we need to learn to be confident in our motives. Most cannot make a choice until they are ready to lose something or be prepared for unexpected reactions to that choice. On the other hand some cannot make a choice unless it’s accepted by their circle of “friends.”

A lot of times we cannot be confident in those choices until we find a person who says “it’s your choice, and I’m OK with what you need.” This is a very rare occurrence. To find someone who sees you and waits for you to figure stuff out on your own terms. On that note we need be confident to follow our hearts, minds, needs, and desires despite the rejection we may experience. We need to choose contentment. We need to stand up for our personal values. We need to be OK with ourselves. If we don’t, then morality diminishes.

I don’t know about you, but I personally have a hard time working with things I don’t want. It’s not what I want. Sometimes though…to keep the mojo going… I have to accept that which I cannot change and figure out a way to make the situation work.

Perspective and acceptance needs to expand beyond ourselves to know another. That is the human experience. When faced with what is not wanted we need to be solid enough to find another solution to validate our values and morals while still accepting a contradictory point of view.

It’s a tough gig. Yet when we figure it out, we are capable of offering unconditional love. We transcend need from others and find belief and trust in ourselves. Which leads to belief and trust in others. 🙂

Listen, trust, and learn to know yourself.

Free Spirited

For years I have been questioning the concept of a free spirit. You know, that person who lives life on their own terms, typically off the grid and a bit eccentric. Wanderers, travelers, gypsies, nomads, lovers, experimenters, believers in things most unaccepted. When I was a young lass I used to admire those I believed to be “free spirited.” I wanted to be able to let go of judgements, forget rules, live on a whim. That’s what I believed free spirited to be.

There are a lot of factors that go into defining what that is. First, is “spirit” viewed in a cosmic sense or a “sacred” sense? Or is it a type of feverishness (look up synonyms to that word) that consumes a person? Is being “free” defined as feeling no obligation, sadness, responsibility, guilt, or commitment to values; not being dependent on anyone other than ourselves; being able to make our own choices? Does being “free” involve being happy as well?

I have determined that the original idea of being free spirited has been lost. It used to be about bucking an increasingly corrupt system and being able to live fulfilling lives, along with allowing love come and go ungrudgingly. “free love.” But as I’ve grown older and have made mistakes that taught me how to really be free, I’ve realized that the modern term “free spirit” is really just a way for someone to escape responsibility. It’s become free loading, grifting, begging, full of drugs, and ending up in really dangerous situations.

To me a free spirit encompasses community, encouragement, freedom of thought and action, no fear of judgement, self acceptance, being able to let go of an amazing connection after fully indulging in its essence. I fear these days a free spirit has become a glorified way of saying “I’m a vagrant.”

The free spirits of the past have contributed to life in America, provided advances in all realms of living. Maybe they hitch hiked, and maybe they did drugs, and maybe there was lots of “free love” going on…but I bet that the old school free spirits didn’t make a culture out of creating begging signs. I bet they picked up work here and there, maybe sold some weed on the side. They worked for what they needed. They didn’t ask others to give it to them, and when they had enough to share…they shared.

The difference between today’s free spirits and yesterdays free spirits is self reliance. In the days of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s, free spirits made their own way in their own way and loved their own way. They didn’t beg, they didn’t steal, they didn’t get hooked on heroin. They loved, they traveled, they lost a lot, the gained a lot, they survived the journey they wanted to travel all on their own. They found themselves and became comfortable with it. Today I feel young “free spirits” are lost souls constantly searching for fulfillment of a void in their being. I don’t trust any person who can’t commit to any one thing. And I feel today’s young free spirited people cannot be trusted because they have no commitment, not even to themselves.

Ask yourself “Am I living freely? And is it good?”

Live, Think, and commit to something

 

 

 

Embracing the down

I most often write about spirituality, nature, connections, and love. Tonight sadness is the prominent theme. Why? Because it’s not acknowledged enough. It’s looked down upon as something to get over rather than something to experience. It’s not bad to be sad. (T-shirt in the making?!)

Sadness is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to everyone, but some societies frown on expressing sadness. It makes people uncomfortable, because they don’t know what to say. See for yourself the next time someone asks “How are you?” and you say “Not so well. I’m pretty sad these days.” Take note of the silence that happens before anything is said in response. The response is usually superficial and any true expression is not accepted as hoped. That needs to change. We are all afraid. We are all somewhat insecure. We all doubt ourselves at one point or another.

So why is sadness so avoided and stifled? It’s considered a weakness. But when we experience sadness and let it be what it is, allowing it to break us down until we get sick of it; we always end up better or dead in the end. Those who choose life are stronger in the end. Lucky in the end. Happy (mostly) in the end.  All of us have benefited from sadness. Some know it, some don’t.

Embrace sadness. It’s the only thing that will find you the help you need. Sadness can inspire us to change. If we can shake the grip of it. Be kind to your kind. Know that we all travel a similar journey and compassion helps us succeed.

Cry, smile, and feel.

Stop for a moment…

I just watched this video a co-worker of mine posted on Facebook of a cat that took it’s kittens to it’s long time dog friend. The dog was so gentle and submissive with the kittens then had rough play with its old cat friend after the kittens left. What I noticed is that most of these kinds of videos we see in the media (cable news not included because I don’t have cable) about amazing feats of love and appreciation among species, and stopping to see that moment of “wow,” are filmed in other countries; all other countries, yet very few times from America.

What I see of America on social media is memes and superficial commentary about Trump, stupidity, racism, scandal, sex, and alcohol. Oh and finding strength, spirituality, and peace within. We are a culture that constantly struggles with ourselves. We focus on what gets attention and avoid the depth that matters in fulfilling ways because of the “risk.”

I get worn down from the culture I live in. It’s a culture of fear. Fear of love, rejection, pain, truth, honesty, responsibility, vulnerability, failure, judgment, success, mistakes, communication…etc. We desire all that we push away. We portray ourselves as something we really are not. … Well, some people do anyway…I personally wouldn’t know how to be anything other than what I am.

Am I so far off in thinking that we are a culture of vanity, popularity, intolerance, isolation, and fear? And am I the only one that is uncomfortable with this lack of interest in an honest life?

There’s nothing better than taking the time to stop for a moment and look beyond yourself. Smell the air, feel the breeze, hear the heat running, feel the warmth of the sun. It’s a good reminder that there’s more to this world than trying to be awesome all the time. 🙂

Lull, look, and love where you are

The safety in Love

So many times we are told that with love comes pain. Not enough times are we told that in Love there is safety. We feel secure to share ourself with someone else. They share their self with us. So yes…in exposing vulnerability, love comes with pain. But with the right love, that vulnerability is hugged and understood. It’s not taken advantage of.  There is a sense of freedom and acceptance.

So in Love there is the safety of knowing that no matter who we are or what we do, someone wants to be with us. Don’t hide yourself for a person who doesn’t want to know who you are. Never settle for less than feeling and being felt.

Love, Love, and Live.

Thou shalt not

Deuteronomy 5:21 in the King James version of the bible states one of the 10 commandments of Christianity.
“Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

I do not profess a sect of religion. I do not fully ascribe to certain values we are taught and innately have in the back of our minds. I do subscribe to certain tenants but this one is a perfect example of how, through story and respected literature, women are demeaned.

Where does it say “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s husband? Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, her field, or her manservant, or her maidservant, her ox, or her ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s?”

It doesn’t. It puts the woman in a place that prevents her from receiving respect. It’s apparently OK to sleep with another woman’s husband because he is man…and owns things…and has servants…and has total control over all that he owns…including his wife.

It is the little things that prevent the biggest changes, including the values instilled in us.

Simply some food for thought…and hopefully people out there are still thinking and questioning.

Love, Laugh, and Just Be.

 

 

Finding Congruence

It is really difficult to find ourselves in the society that exists today. We are constantly bombarded by expectations from our family, friends, and society to be a certain acceptable way. We communicate superficially through Facebook and Twitter, and even likely face to face. We portray our “quality worlds” to everyone we interact with. The thing is, none of us are really living our perfect “quality” world. The world we imagine ourselves to feel fulfilled in. This pressure has caused a lot of anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy for us Western earthly people. We constantly ask ourselves questions such as Am I skinny enough? Am I strong enough? Why am I not more confident with who I am? How can I be more noticed? And many more that would take a long boring time to list.

This experience is not unique. It is unique only to each person trying to find themselves, but it is not unique in the fact that we all ask these same questions. So I pose a thoughtful response to the need for congruence between who we are and who we want to be. The quality world expresses who we want to be. But who we are is rarely used to get us there. Yet it could be used to get us to the place we feel completely in line with who we are and how we want others to see us. Bottom line, we lie to ourselves and others to feel like we fit in. When really, no one fits in. We all do the same silly thing to feel like we fit.

To just be who we are is super scary for a lot of people. It means contradiction, fights, denouncing, a jump off a cliff. So we fight off who we are and hide who we are to avoid the perceived conflict.

To find congruence with who we feel we are, how we portray ourselves, and how others view us is a seriously difficult endeavor. We often have to fight societal expectations…which these days I believe is all a lie, superficial, and not what it seems. We all lie to each other and ourselves.

To feel satisfied with ourselves and align that with our lives we need to be true to ourselves. We don’t need to save the world or even have an opinion about it. We need to trust that we know who we are and like who we are. That’s a big thing right there. Liking who we are. To be congruent we need to be OK with who we are and ready to act on our being.

To be congruent with how we view ourselves and how we portray ourselves means to be honest and vulnerable. When we are ourselves, and act that way…the vulnerability is easier to handle. Because we trust that we will be OK in the end. You believe in yourself. You believe in yourself. I can’t express that enough. You believe in yourself. It’s authentic.

Authenticity is crucial to make any kind of change. People need to know you are real in what you offer. We all are craving truth and authenticity these days. We can’t get it until we give it. So to make a difference in this world we need to show our shine. What makes us real people. Media isn’t the answer, government isn’t the answer, what we share on media isn’t the answer.

Trusting that who we are could be enough is essential to a better world.

Lose, Learn, and Live.

 

Unity

The “Holidays” are afoot.

It’s the time of year we think about family, meet with family, become aware again about community, yet still remain distant from community and, maybe, remain distant from family despite the interactions.

This year it needs to be different. It NEEDS to be different for all of us Western world people. Our government has waged wars. But you know what…we need to show our worth as a culture. We need to unite as communities. F saving the world thing…let us just come together as neighbors and neighborhoods, to help each other thrive. If you aren’t fighting the war, we could at least band together to survive the war. Let us accept our neighbors, let us keep each other safe. Let us become a common community again.

Most of our holidays were created by the government to unite the country under difficult circumstances. It is understood why that happened. Lincoln created Thanksgiving, way after the stories tell. I won’t even touch the Christmas story. Let’s create a reason to unite without the false proclamation of a holiday. Let us unite to live!

Live, Laugh, and take big risks…