Tag Archives: hugs

Love Well.

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I had an epiphany this week, brought on by words from my wise wife, about what I really want to do here, for the remainder of my time in this physical form. The words that she used, and that have stuck with me since, is to Love Well. As I have aged, I seem to learn more about what Love is, and what it means here to be Loving. I am still not completely sure that I understand it fully; and when I attempt to put it into words, they seem to be sorely lacking. Yet, words are what I have, and what I use, so I will do my best to describe what I mean.

 

You see, I see myself as a loving person; it is one of the characteristics that I have been able to see in myself easily. What I have seen in myself is a heart that literally feels filled up when I am connected to those around me. It is a heart that feels grateful and present much of the time in my life. But, how I expressed Love on the outside, wasn’t always pure love. Sure, I would take care of those around me; I would try to fix what seemed to be broken; and I would give with my whole heart and soul, putting myself aside in the process. 

 

Today, I am understanding that although those actions in the past could pass as Love from an outside view, and love as I have been taught, it no longer suffices for me, as the Love that I wish to bring to the world. That takes more presence, diligence, and peace, and less Ego, less Me involved. To truly Love, deeply Love, Love in the way which our true nature shows us, I need to see beyond the form. I need to Love equally and fully. I need to accept everything as it Is, and trust that all is unfolding as it should. I need to forgive easily, and then realize, that there is nothing to forgive.

 

It is a huge challenge for me on many occasions. I want a certain outcome. I think that I know what is best, for everyone around me. I want to control the situation so that I feel less afraid. I want to have an expectation of someone or something so that I can feel more safe. None of those states of mind are Love. Not really. Even though I can justify them in my mind, they aren’t Love.

 

So, today I commit again to Love in that way. It starts with me, of course, Loving myself precisely and exactly as I Am, which then creates the allowance to Love every, single situation and person as it Is, as they Are. I learn deeply along the way. I fall short. I try again. And, every day, bit by bit, I learn to Love. 

 

I learn to Love Well. 

 

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Who Am I?

Today, I went to my first Comic Con. It was right here in Scranton, PA, and I didn’t do anything but stand outside the entry area and offer Free Hugs. While that offering isn’t unusual for me, the venue was for sure. So, I decided to go in a character that is familiar to me and that I most enjoy.

 

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It got me thinking about Life, and Being, and what it all really means. Who Am I, really? I mean, if I created a list that is finite, I could come up with many things that I see myself as: a person who gives hugs; a mom; a wife; a friend. Yet, even all of those characteristics and roles don’t define the overall true and deepest essence of who it is that I Am; who we all Are.

 

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The deepest truth that there is, is that I am not all of those roles, responsibilities or things that I do in the world. I Am no more than you are: we Are All part of the pure essence of Life itself; Being that is interconnected will all that Is. When I think on this, I cannot easily comprehend it, because it is not meant to be something that can be absorbed in the context of the mind. 

 

I Am one with all that Is. You Are, too. That means, that all that we are is interconnected. Our similarities; our differences; our geographical distance; our roles in the world; it is all just different manifestations, different forms of the same, eternal essence. Our mind is not meant to be able to grasp that in the context of thinking. To think upon this, we logically create stories that explain how this cannot possibly be true. When we introduce thinking and logic to the concept of our Oneness, we look for explanations and reasons why the form must be truth. By doing this, we continue to fragment ourselves from everything else. We see our selves as separate from everyone and everything else, and we have a list of reasons why this is justified.
To sense my oneness with all that Is, I have to be willing to set aside my thinking, and feel what the Truth is. Feel the essence of everything; feel my connected nature to all other living beings, all circumstances around me. I notice this especially when I am hugging another person, but even then, I tend to tell stories about us and our differences rather than know how we are the same. Sensing our sameness can only come when I turn off my observing, thinking mind, and just feel from the deepest part of me.

 

We often feel like we are so separate, so distanced from one another. Yet, if we allow ourselves to deeply feel the truth, we will know a deeper sense of connectedness, joining, love and peace than we have ever felt. 

 

Try feeling it for yourself. 

 

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What’s next?

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Hugs. Hugs have become the most consistent and meaningful part of my journeying through Life in the last four years. Hugs have led me on travels all over the United States; introduced to some amazing human beings; and taught me much about myself, about surrender, presence, and opening my arms, literally and figuratively, to all. I am thankful for the path it has created for me every single day.

 

Along the way, I have met so many beautiful humans, whom have felt as called as I, for their own reasons and in their own ways, to connect with others through the power of a hug as well. My friend Edie; friends Tex and Cat; and Brendon to name just a few. Even though most of them I have not yet met in person, their impact on my life, and my deepest learning, does not go unnoticed.

 

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I am blessed. Blessed beyond measure to not only know of and get to experience these beauties; but to also be on a path that feels at times, strange and isolating. The desire to connect, on a real, intimate and deep level, is not the craving of most, at least on the surface. We are all terrified to know and be known by one another. So, to see this willingness is inspiring and creates in me a sense of community. And, sometimes, envy also. To want to be seen as much as they seem to be sometimes. Crazy town in my head, I know. But I get to keep learning.
Then, a mere year ago, I met a person that, on the surface details of life, has so many similarities between her own journey and mine, it is uncanny. She has inspired me, stirred in me feelings of jealousy to have what she seems to have, and today, a strong knowing that we will continue to walk the path together. 

 

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So, what’s next? As much as I want to know, I also understand that the learning for me is not in the knowing, but in the not knowing. My deepest understanding and growth will be when I continue to let go, in every breath, and let all that Is, be as it Is. When I stop projecting into a tomorrow that may never come, about what I most want or what I predict will happen, the more contented and peaceful I will be. There is no knowing what the precise “future” or “outcome” will look like; no matter how clearly I think I have it plotted out. Yet, I know that the groundwork is laid, precisely and purposefully, to unfold into something more brilliant than I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams.
So now, I get to pause, breathe, and take in this moment as it is, as it happens. And see how the rest will be the rest. And it will be AMAZING. 

 

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The Other Side of the Story.

Oh my.

There are moments in life when I can hardly believe how detached that I am. And yet, I enjoy Life to its fullest capacity.

 

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I spent the weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, home of Coca Cola and Martin Luther King, Jr. It has been amazing, and awe inspiring, and I had no idea that any of that was coming.

 

So, I was supposed to be attending a conference in Atlanta this weekend. And, no matter how peaceful that I am, I still love being a planner of sorts. So, as soon as I knew of the possibility of the conference, I bought my round trip air fair to Atlanta.

 

Then, it got canceled. And, I decided that coming to Atlanta, for fun, adventure, and who knows what, was well worth the price of a plane ticket and an Air bnb (is that how I write it??). So, I arrived in Atlanta Friday morning at 8:00 AM, and had no idea what was going to happen.
Suffice it to say, it has been freakin’ amazing.

 

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I hugged a polar bear, hugged multiple humans, ate beautiful food and walked for miles. And, what added beauty and magic to every moment was my own presence. My own awareness of being awake. Alive. In a sense of knowing. I am humbled and in awe of how awake I am on any given day!  Something so startling and inspiring is happening in me, as I continue to crack wide open.

 

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Strange, and not that strange, we start out in this world as completely new and open, and having a keen knowing of who it is that we truly Are. Then, slowly and over time, we curl up, we close, we forget, and then we learn to pretend that we haven’t really forgotten. Then, we remember, just a little bit, but get scared. We get scared to be open, and vulnerable. Vulnerability is certain death, after all! Don’t do it- don’t risk losing that which is predictable and safe; security at its peak.

 

But, that is the joke, after all.  There is not truth to that. In this form, in this body, we are fragile. Anything could happen, and end this as we know it to be. At any moment. So, I tell you:
This is not IT.

 

Wait.  I will say that again.
THIS IS NOT IT.

 

It only feels like “it”.

 

I am not saying that this realm, this experience doesn’t FEEL real. It feels completely real. We learn about it, we invest in it, we protect it, build it, commit to it!

 

Then, something goes profoundly wrong-  “bad” as we call it here. And we feel completely turned upside down and shaken. How could this happen? What did I do to deserve this? Where’s G_d?

 

I admit, knowing what I have come to know doesn’t ease all of the pain, loss, and grief, hurt and anger. But, it helps.

 

A. Lot.

 

I still feel pain. Hurt. Anger. Grief. Disappointment.

 

AND- I remember that I can feel those emotions, as deeply and authentically as possible as needed, and then, allow them to pass. I get to watch them float by without staying attached to them. It is perfectly okay to feel what we feel- but we don’t have to attach ourselves to a story about those feelings.

 

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When I am one with all that Is, I see every circumstance unfolding precisely as it should; I see how every step makes sense to the overall picture, and I am available to an acceptance of things just being as they are. Life as it Is. And, I meet the most amazing other humans on that journey.

 

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I have come to more consistently see the other side of the story; the other side of the story in my mind. The other side is Surrender. Peace. Forgiveness. Everything that we already carry in us, and is our only possible saving grace. And, grace is not my doing. How could it be? I am part of and receiving that grace, but it is so much bigger than me in this human form. When I say yes to grace, and sink into that truth, it is the deepest peace that I have ever known.

 

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Rainbows and Glitter.

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So, it would seem that most people would know that summer is the season for LGBTQA+ Pride, especially, the month of June. Fifty years ago, in June 28, 1969, a group of brave humans stood up the the police and the public, in Greenwich Village, NYC, to be treated fairly and equally. The establishment is Stonewall. And, the rest is history. Gay history. 

 

I have been out as a lesbian, to friends, family, and the general public, for more than 35 years now. It has been a journey, that is for sure, one that has included self loathing, shame, and believing that there might be something wrong with me because I loved women. Yet, I persevered, I have been fiercely authentic as myself for many years now, and I love to model that for others also.

 

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Long after my own coming out, my son had his own version of coming out that was in store for him. It was painful and confusing at times, for all of us. Yet, it shifted something in me on a deep level, that helped me to understand that we all just want to be loved for who we know ourselves to be. It is that simple, and yet as humans, we make it so complicated and difficult.

 

As I stood out in the oppressive heat today, holding my arms open and offering hugs for any and all that wanted, or needed them, I felt humbled. I felt emotional. I felt so sure that I was right where I needed to be. And, even though I didn’t hear a lot of stories, of rejection and heartache that others have experienced, I felt the connection from one human soul to the next, as we held one another and squeezed.

 

I have attended more Pride events this summer than in my entire adult life, and what I can say is, beyond how fulfilling it is to give a hug to a person that really needs one, and is willing to give it to themselves, it is a completely awe inspiring experience, to watch humans of all ages come to an event and feel free to be themselves. To express it, loudly or softly, and to know that they finally can just BE. Today, at the very end of the day, I had a young person cry in my arms, and me along with them, about how grateful that they were that Free Mom Hugs was there, offering hugs and hope to anyone who needed it.

 

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And, my beautiful, loving son, came with his own sign, to show support, love, and connection with so many that took him up on his offer. It was so lovely to watch. I am in tears as I write this, so grateful that I have stepped upon this purposeful path; so overwhelmed with how it is needed and received; and so humbled by all of the souls that are now joining me on the journey.  I came home with a rainbow necklace, and with my arms covered in glitter. 

 

It was a very good day.