Love = Freedom

A few weeks ago I was in Starbucks writing in my journal. Two gentlemen came and sat right across from me. They began chit-chatting, opened up their bibles and began to share scripture. I kept on writing but their voices began to echo through me. It was a busy morning in there but somehow I could feel and hear all they were discussing even when I tried to block it out.

I stopped writing. I closed my eyes and with full abandonment entered their world.

One said to the other, “The Lord will forgive you. He will have mercy upon us. Christ won’t hold this against you or me because we are walking the righteous path….” More scripture was recited. I began to stare away from them out the window, pen in hand, waiting for my heart to stop beating so tightly against my chest.

They shared a lot of intimate moments and experiences for a while. One man cried, the other got up, walked around the table and hugged him. There, in the middle of a busy shop. No one noticed. The man wiped the tears away and sat down. The other sat in silence for a moment gathering his will to continue the conversation.

The story was not unlike another. I get to witness many of these, whether I am being told the stories or I am partaking from a distance. But, what I found interesting was the way they had used religion to mask their love affair. They spoke of their wives and children. I wanted to reach over to them, hold both their hands and tell them that they hold the key to changing their struggle and heartache. I wanted to hug them, look at them, see them, listen attentively, and let them know they weren’t alone and Christ doesn’t punish for loving anyone. And, if they needed to finally be happy freedom and truth needed to be addressed.

But, this wasn’t my story.

But, this is a story of hurt and confusion. It’s a story of living under erroneous pretenses. It’s a story of pretending and not pretending; loss and gain; faith and guilt. I had to take a few deep breaths while trying to hold my tears. I was paralyzed in that chair, feeling these two souls whose lives were better because of each other but also tragic because of their circumstances. I ached deeply for these strangers while feeling their love and admiration for one another.

And…there…right there…in that coffee shop everything evolves and resolves. I left them still reading to each other, fighting their desires, attempting to tackle their faiths while denying what was real.

We all fight something, right? We all have little secrets at times that eat us and shame us? Nothing is perfect. So if you love, please love harder. If you are miserable, please adjust your motives and find a plan. Challenges and obstacles rise to show us our strengths. Life is too short to feel shame, guilt, resentment and become bitter because you can’t change things right at this moment. Love openly and fully. Say your ‘I Love You’s’ as much as possible. Nothing lasts forever…

~m.a.p.

Open Doors, Open Hearts

I was entering the elevators at the hospital to visit a sweet client when an elderly gentleman with an oxygen apparatus and his walker asked me to please hold the doors for him. He mentioned he was struggling with the long walk and breathing.

I asked how his day was going and with deep breaths and pauses he answered, “Not good. But my wife is coming home today. She is finally leaving this place.”

“Is she better?” I asked with a sympathetic tone. This is the cancer unit of the hospital.

“She’s not. She’s coming home to die….”

I reached over and put my hand on his hands that clutched the walker tightly and I looked into his grayish eyes. “I am deeply sorry, sir. I cannot begin to imagine the state of your heart right now.”

I found my heart cracking with such deep gratitude for his sharing. He stood there hunched over in mourning.

His tears were being held with strength. “Enjoy your youth. My wife and I just celebrated our 62nd anniversary. I never imagined I would have to bury her. I’ve always been the one in poor health….”

Within 10 floors, doors opening and closing, he shared a snippet of his life…of their intimate union. With each breath and syllable I allowed their love inside of me.

Because that was all the space required me to do.

I held the doors open for him. I held my heart and prayers open for him as well. And in a few seconds he was gone. He’s life will never be the same. I watched as he descended….

This is living behind the curtains of facade. It’s reality for billions. Open any hospital room and you will witness vulnerability and heartache. You will also see Miracles and Creation. Open up to all that’s happening out there but still remain in love. Stay open to it all because we are all connected.

We struggle in this career of being human. If you are fortunate enough to hold onto another for 62 years then you are truly blessed. You have truly felt mysticism of connection.

I love you. I honor you. I am blessed for having you. Be kind to another. Open your own heart to receive the wisdom and words of someone in need even if for a moment, an elevator ride, or the exchange of human energy.

Make a Life

birthIn our society we are taught that success is measured by the things we’ve acquired.  The categories of “success” are based on education, money, materialism such as a house and a car, career labels, what and how you wear certain clothing, etc.  But, success goes deeper than the concrete evidence of such categories.  It truly cannot be measured by “things.”  It has an abstract definition that is based on accomplishments.  Who made materialistic things the success-o-meter?  When did the consumption of these things become the status for our happiness?

The question I keep asking myself since I was one of those folks with the big house, fancy cars and money in the bank for extra spending, is are you making a life or making a living?  Do you allow success to be measured by class and materialism?  Or, do you allow triumph to be that which brings you a peace of mind and who you are is not what you do?  Most people seem to be living based on what they do and labeling themselves to that class.  In our tough economic times, I’ve heard of stories of professionals who have lost their corporate jobs and now are cashiers in the nearest supermarket.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Unfortunately, for those individuals their definition of success is tarnished.

Making a life brings joy, peace and a union with Divinity.  Making a living and placing all status and forms of success is temporarily.  You never know when things in life can change and your “status” will turn within moments.  If we travel down the path of this life consciously allowing for growth, through experiences and lessons, we can make a life.  Making a living is just that…you are making money to survive.  Don’t place your worth on what you have (or don’t have).  Place your worth on what you can give and receive from humanity.  You are the pilot of your life.  Success is measured by those moments that bring others into your space and light.  Look around and marvel at the people who surround you.  Are they bringing you down or lifting you up?  Are your children healthy and walking a path of joy without the pressures of society telling them they have to have a PhD. (which there is nothing wrong with having a doctoral.  It is a tremendous accomplishment but it shouldn’t define you)? Can you get out of bed each morning full of excitement to receive the day while doing what you love?

All the stress from economy, political agendas, religion and mass media is enough to bring anyone to a state of depression.  Start making a life for yourself.  Work because you must put food on the table but don’t let the job measure your triumph in this life.  As I am getting closer to ending this chapter of my life and not really knowing what is ahead for me, I am deleting the strains of over-thinking and putting a label to my career.  It’s freeing and sometimes frightening but it’s a way to truly live the moment.

Have a blessed day!

A Broken Heart

broken heart

A few days ago I caught up with a dear friend. He began to express that it’s been one of the darkest moments in a long time for him. I heard what was said and the underlining of what wasn’t. My heart was fracturing as I listened to him. I have had moments like this. I have witnessed friends lose their jobs after 20 years. I have seen some others drink their problems away thus creating a blockage and denying all the emotions inside. I have seen others just disappear into their own shelter without a word. I have heard from others whose health have deteriorated asking for a purpose to it all. I have experienced the death of some others who just couldn’t handle the massive shifting of life because sometimes it’s all freaking shit. It’s hard. It’s unfair. It can suck us thin while removing our faith in humanity. And, as if all this wasn’t right on the surface of deep empathy, I was then asked that same afternoon by someone else, “Can a person die of a broken heart?” I immediately answered, “Absolutely! We can die from anything we manifest through thought and emotion whether it is in abundance or the lack of it.”

For most of my life the answer to that question was an absolute “no!” I did not believe you could die from a broken heart. Grieving passes. We get through things. At least…we should. However, things have changed. I have changed and experienced the shattering of my heart several times. We all have. Our stories consist of fractures, brokenness, fragments and so much more. It’s part of being human. One important criteria for living is feeling. The more you feel, the more exposed you are to disappointments, anger, hatred, heartbreaks, dishonesty, etc. But, on the same token we are also exposed to joy, beauty, love, and the rainbows of a thousand delicious emotions. The darkest of hours and moments in our lives push us to either lock up or open up wider. It’s a choice…but we must endure it. Life is not really meant to be a struggle but we sure do a great amount of persistence to make it be impossible. There are always lessons in these experiences. Without sounding over dramatic, I do believe we can die of a broken heart that manifests into a heart attack. We can create illnesses, weaknesses and every imaginable bad thing that can be attracted by intention.

My father had several open heart surgeries. He was a man who loved deeply. He was a Casanova, that one guy that lit a room with his charisma and good looks. He was charming, funny, friendly and extremely loving. He was a womanizer and had a PhD from the Houdini University of Disappearing Into Thin Air. He knew when to take it all in but not know when to let go. My father’s heart was wide open. He wore it on his sleeve, apparently with everyone. And so, he died with heart problems, prostate cancer, and a solitary journey to his death that was long and painful. His mind left him years before he was gone. My father died of not only a broken heart but resentments, anger, and disappointments that he couldn’t express. He lived in his own hell. Each one of us has an incredible novel and his was definitely not boring. He punished himself till the very end for all that he thought he created to hurt others.

We are all going to die. It’s a given. The moment you are born that’s the point of destination. What we do with the in-between is called life. Allow for the darkest parts to guide you into the light. Let creativity step in. A friend sent me a sweet message in an email, “Create! Save God from Boredom!” If you allow your heart to stay open and you accept your presence as a conduit from Divinity you will not die of a broken heart. You will fly and your Spirit will thank you for being authentic to your purpose. Create doesn’t mean to make a painting.  It means create all that you want with intention.  Do not let your heart close up. Do not let it die before your time. Do not let the past dictate your future. You don’t live there anymore. If you are sad, sit with it.  If you are happy invite that to stay for longer.  We grieve, we love, we give, and we die. Amidst the gasps of it all lies the purpose and the legacy of who you are.

Surrender to the unknown!

Make it magical!

I love you!

Live without regrets 

If you get anything from what I share I hope you get this:
Sometime ago I read somewhere that studies showed Dementia and Alzheimer’s were linked to regrets and living an unfulfilled life. When I look back at the folks in my life who have suffered I can see this to be true. SO…I opt to live this life to the fullest. My birthday month starts Saturday and, as every year, I make sure to honor my existence by doing something new every single day of the month. It’s the simple things like taking a road never traveled or eating something I’ve never tried or even learning a new word in a different language. I make a point to fulfill every day with an extra oomph of presence. By the time the last day in April arrives I am totally wiped out of ideas. April becomes the longest month of the year and I love that. 

Whenever I enter a facility to visit a sweet elderly person I recognize regrets staring back. I hear stories through their loss of reality and watch the expressions of souls who are just waiting for death. 

Regrets, resentments, bitterness, loss, and unfulfilled dreams are on top of the lists. Stories get told and relived with sorrow and sadness. 

If I am to live a healthy life with full capacity of my mind, I will do anything to make sure I live to the fullest. Circumstances aren’t always available. Challenges rise and fall. Love comes and goes. Hurt breaks the heart and then repairs. I haven’t much on any list of things I care to do that I haven’t done. I choose to love fully. Live openly. Laugh every day. And treat strangers as old friends. No regrets. No resentments. I choose to be present to the best of my ability. It’s a matter of being mindful. 

I have seen too many loved ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s to know I will do what it takes to enjoy this life. It might not always be comfortable but that’s also a matter of perception. 

Now you. You get to decide what you hold on to and hurt you, or what you release and see as beautiful life lessons. 

Enjoy your life, darlings. This is a gift every single day. It doesn’t have to be so hard. It just has to be lived. Mucho love ~ Millie

The Ness of It All

Tucking my hair behind my ears,

caressing my bangs over my eyes,

you checked in constant assurance

that I always heard and saw you.

Your hands guided my chin upward

so my eyes could share

the unspoken truth…

I was forever present with your one-ness.

Memories immortalize moments,

freezing scenes of tender-ness,

loving-ness and kind-ness

while all else now falls

in helpless-ness  to a backdrop

of what is now real life.

Words echo,

I was everything to you

and I haven’t been ever since

to anyone else…

Oh, yes, there have been lovers

who crafted beautifully the arts

of rapture,

passion,

ecstasy,

gratification…

but the nothing-ness,

the ever so encompassing-ness

of allowing me

to love endlessly

without holding back

buried itself with you

long ago.

When I permit myself

the act of giving

I am returned with akward-ness–

a full disclosure

that you are not in them,

and I am not in me as well.

Luckily stories re-enact

in little sleepless nights

through visions

of what may never be again

but always live in fond-ness:

I was truly treasured

in whole-ness by you.

The Cage

 

He clutched my heart,

held it as a possession,

while I realized it was the only

substance of keeping us there –

the togetherness beyond

the understanding

and disturbance in such obsession.

It was our lifeline

binding and supporting a mystery,

a lesson,

and a difficult experience.

Impatience and immaturity

called for the ecstasy

that would bring in high’s,

drugging and filling me

with such blinding addiction.

It wasn’t the moments,

nor the times,

or what the body desired,

craving over and over

to fill the emptiness

with sweet desperation.

It was a tight grip that secured

the chemistry in our question mark–

I was the mark and he was the period:

two souls joined in a falsified passion

but held apart by the reality

that this would never end in fairness.

To love so deeply requires

the loosing of one’s vulnerability,

entrusting the universe to take over

with easement.

Somewhere, somehow, I knew

it would never last

as he became my lungs

and I could no longer breathe

on my own.

Control and restraint

have no business

taking residence in such a union,

occupying a broken heart

and trying to repeat the same drama

of past manipulation.

He was the clutch that invited me to give

and I was the ground that supported

him to receive.

It was a mutual contract

between us:

I played the ailing patient,

he was the willing doctor

who would fix the damage,

trying to erase the existence

of any other man who had

explored my territory.

The moments were here and there.

At some point

the soul opened up, grew wings,

and flew out of the adorned cage

that he cautiously created for me.

Once freed,

the heart, wisdom, and spirit

found the freedom

that would never allow imprisonment

again…

it was then that divinity unlocked

the secret

that love is never contained,

or possessed

because it is all there is.

It is all there will ever be.

Freedom

 

freedomOkay, let’s start today finding inner freedom through strength and wisdom. Follow your divine guidance. You do not live in a prison…except for the thoughts you carry and entertain. Set them free. At any given time you have the choice to see the light or the darkness. Which one will you choose?

Love me like this

Search inside the window of my soul

without placing the turpentine

that removes

the bright colors of me

and love me, like this…

like an artist loves

the strokes of paint

brushing slowly on a canvas.

Listen, but with your heart

not your ears

because love is like the wind-

felt but not touched,

blowing in and out from us.

It simply is everything

without expecting anything

but a beautiful composition

that comes from the mysterious.

Touch me but without hypocrisy,

without ill-mannered words

that get caught in deception —

you are more than that.

Kiss me,

grab me tightly,

but not so much like a possession

squeezing me like a doll.

Place your hand over my heart,

notice my rhythm

and try to follow it.

Love me, like love is meant to be,

with compassion

and faith leading the way

to wherever Spirit resides.