Monthly Archives: April 2013

Old Friends.

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I had dinner last night with friends, friends that I have known for most of my adult life. One of them I had not seen in over twenty years. We lost touch over the years, and have reconnected recently. We shared food, and laughs, and memories of times past. It was fun and touching.

It got me to thinking about the idea of people that remain in our lives, or come back into our lives, and what that really means to us.

Facebook I believe, gives me the false impression at times, that I am fully involved in someone’s life who I have known at some point. Through photos, recollections and memories, it can give me the feeling of really knowing that person, like we are still intimately connected in some way.

With some of those “friends” of mine, I am currently connected with them in my life. I get together, have coffee, lunch, or dinner, and we share conversation and know each other in the here and now.

Last night, I was presented with, and took advantage, of the opportunity to get to know my friends, and have them get to know me, not just as I was twenty years ago, but as the person that I am in the here and now. It is not different in all ways, but it is different in some significant ones.

I am grown up. I find my fun and joy in things other than drinking, and going out until the wee hours of the morning. I am a parent. I have loved women and developed deep relationships with them, and then moved on from them. I have gotten sober.

I have built a life that is not around others, but one that I can shine and be myself. Not focused on how much others around me will be at ease or not with who I am, but rather how authentically I can be and live in my world.

The goal for me in my life today, is not to have a long list of friends, that I can only know what their status is from day to day. It is bigger than that. I want friends in my life with whom I will be my full self, not who I think I need to be with them. The more authentically that I can be me, the more that I have to offer the world. And, the less that it matters if the world embraces it or not. Because even though I want to make friendship about others, and who they are, it really is about who I am.

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Problems.

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I could make a problem out of most any situation or circumstance in my life. Whether it be with my love relationship, my family, friends, or work, there are problems to be found if I really want to look for them. It could be about the way a coworker does, or does not, complete their tasks. It could be about a phone call that I did, or did not get, from my sister, or mother or partner. It could be about the activity that we were not able to do together, or something that I didn’t get to buy.

I realized more deeply a couple of aspects of this today. The first one, is that I can choose to have the perception that there really are no problems. That all of what I perceived as problems have already been solved; that it really is a matter of how I view them. Sure, I can view every problem as an opportunity; I am thinking even bigger than that for myself. What if I think that there ARE no problems? That all has already been taken care of, and my life is unfolding precisely as it should be, full of gifts? Wow, what a concept. I like it.

The other aspect that I need to remember is that whatever part of life that I am involved in at any given time, and that I may be trying to figure out, I need to remember that I have within me all that is required to live in that life. Whether it be my intuition, love, strength, determination or fierceness, I can fully trust in my instincts, and my ability to take care of whatever needs tending to in my life.

So, that means, that I get to live a life that is free of problems, viewing my life instead as an opportunity for all great things to come about. It also means that I get to live my life free of judgment, specifically, judgment of myself for not feeling capable at times of handling something that I am facing.

I will ALWAYS be able to find problems everywhere in my life, if I want to. Today, I choose something different. With faith, awareness and love I can enjoy this life and see all of the gifts that are in store for me.

The End.

“And in the End, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” The Beatles

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This line is from one of my favorite Beatles tunes of all time, The End, which is from the Abbey Road album. I love it for many reasons. I love the upbeat tempo in the beginning, with Paul singing his soul out, and drums driving deeply and loudly. Then, I love the transition to keyboard only, and a sweet voice singing those very words above.

The love we take is equal to the love we make.

I have thought about this line many times over my life. I have been listening to this album, probably since the time I was eight years old. The music, and the words, have always had an impact on me. This is my takeaway.

What we do in this life, what we either offer, take, give or receive. What we work for, play for, and who we connect with. Where we live or travel to. No matter WHAT we do in this life, I believe that the value of it, or lack of it, always comes down to the presence, or lack of, LOVE. I don’t know if I believe that all we need is love, however, I DO believe that what we create or destroy in our lives, whether we connect or separate, it is always because of a presence, or absence, of love.

So, let’s think about this for a bit. I really think that we can start, continue, and end any aspect of our lives with love, and it will create a space that is filled with more of what it is that we want. I am not talking strictly of romantic love, family love, friendship love, or love of our nonhuman companions. I am not talking about the concept of love that we hear about at times in poetry and love songs. I mean, actually opening our selves up, to be vulnerable enough to express love and caring to others. I am talking, being brave enough to accept love from others and to respond in love as well.

I am talking about looking, with eyes of love, upon everyone and everything that we meet. It is true, it can be VERY difficult. We learn early on to protect what is ours; to hold our hearts close so that we don’t get hurt. We learn to work hard, achieve much, and connect when we can. I am saying that I want to challenge myself to work against what I may have learned in part along the way. I learned about love too; yet, I also learned that I preferred many times to judge, control, or separate from others because it was easier, or because, it left me feeling better about me.

Love isn’t about flowers, candy and sweet songs. That is part of it. Yet, is also acceptance, of one another and ourselves, without the harsh eye of judgment always upon it. Love is understanding, even if a person is not living in a way that I want or expect. Love is openness, that there are many things in this life that I don’t know, and that others can teach me.

When I leave this world, I want to take with me a soul full of the love that I have shared, connected with and felt throughout my life time. I want to keep pushing against my tendency to want to protect and close, and instead, open and and connect.

I want to spend my days, making LOVE. Don’t you?

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Love Song.

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I have been in long term relationships for 27 or so years of my life. For most of those years, I was with two partners, neither of which I am currently with. In thinking about it today, I realize that to reflect on those past relationships fondly, while still being true to my current partner in my mind and heart, is frowned upon in this world.

When I was with both of my former partners, we had beautiful, intimate moments. We had fun, laughs, and good times. We had struggles and tears. We broke up, and we got back together. Yet through it all, I was there because I chose to be there, in it, trying to figure it out along the way.

I have no regrets, for any one of the moments that I spent with my former partners. NO regrets.

For me, the time was well spent. It brought me closer to my true self; it helped me to understand and embrace the process of getting to know another person. It taught me lessons about love, falling in love, working at love, compromise, and to develop understanding of another human being’s experience.

Recently, my daughter has taken a liking to an old song by Oasis. I mean, it was released before she was even born. The song just so happens to be a love song, one of the biggest, for my former partner and myself. Her other parent. So, my thoughts this morning were: does that ever STOP being our love song? If it still is, does that mean I am not respecting my current partner, by honoring and acknowledging that?

I don’t believe that to be true. I believe that the song will always be one which I remember with fondness and love; I remember our moments together as time that I was present and available; that I wanted to be in that time of my life with her. I don’t need to wipe that away now that I am with someone else.

Even though I have chosen to be in a new relationship, one that fulfills me more than ever before in my life, I have a choice, in that, I don’t have to disregard where I have been or who that time has been spent with.

I have great honor and respect for my former partner. Not to say that our interactions aren’t difficult at times. We are only human, after all. I am not perfect, and I fail miserably at times, at being understanding and compassionate. However, today I am present to her feelings. I am present to the meaning with which we were in each other’s lives at one time.

I am fully honoring and respecting that she will always hold a place in my life that is meaningful and loving.

So, a love song is always a love song. Yet, we always have room, and the choice, to move forward with an open heart.

So what?

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We all have issues that come up in our lives, that we can either face or ignore. Most often, the issues are related to fear, things that we are most afraid of.

So now, in the relationship of my life, I am no different. I still have things that I need to face up to, and there are some fears that we both have that we get to look at together. The big one that we both get to look at, is age.

From the time that I met her, I knew that Brenda was special, and the right person for me. She is warm, compassionate, funny, sweet, smart, and beautiful. Yet, before we met, I was sure that she only wanted to be friends, because of the difference in age between us.

A whopping 18 years.

Caring about her so deeply felt scary to me. Not because of falling in love; but because I am so many years older than her. I have cried about it, felt strange about it, and self conscious about it at times. I have been asked several times if she is my daughter. I have wondered about hair color and wrinkles and all of the normal results that aging brings.

My biggest fear? Is what other people think of me. How I will be viewed by the outside world, for falling in love and being in a relationship with a younger person.

Brenda carries her own stuff about this as well, and we decided, as we do with many things, that the best, most loving way to deal with this, is to say, SO WHAT? So what if I am older? If she is younger? If people think if I am her mother? If she looks younger than she is? So what?

We stood in front of a mirror this weekend together, and really looked. Looked in to see what others do. We see that I am older, and she is younger. And gray hair, and wrinkles, and youth and age. We also see the reality that I AM old enough to her her mother, and for her to be my daughter.

What else do we see? A love that is amazing, inspiring and creative. A love that is eternal and that isn’t bound but what others think, or what we fear. A love that transcends all of that and flies on the breeze.

When I want to be afraid, and make it all about others, I am learning to say, so what? So I can reap the benefits of this amazing life I am creating.

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