Truly Listen to Another

listen

For the major part of my adult life I have rarely heard when someone has told me who they are.  If you really listen to a stranger, a new person in your life, the beginning of a romantic relationship, you will find that they DO tell you who they are…for the most part (some folks are mentally ill and cannot decipher personality traits from their disorder).  Sometimes it isn’t verbal but through events and actions that leave you flabbergasted with questioning, “WTF?”  The fixer in me was always trying to take them by the hand and shake all those negative ideas of themselves.  I wanted to show them what I was seeing.  I wanted them to live to their highest potential of what I THOUGHT was correct.  This is complete and utter b.s. and arrogance.

A few years ago I dated a wonderful man, very briefly, for a few weeks.  On our first hike he kept stopping as we were trekking up this steep mountain terrain and laying down everything that was him.  He basically gave me a rundown of the things that were acceptable, who he was, what he would put up with, and so many other small fragments of his personality.  When we reached the summit I was truly exhausted but so relieved.  He showed me that hour the person he was and I truly listened.  I am so glad I did, because a few days later, in my need to bring out the best in another to my convenience, he stopped me again and reminded me how he laid it all on the line.  He was right.  He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in a relationship.  And, although our time together was brief, it was a powerful lesson in listening to another when they tell you who they are.  They know themselves better than anyone.

This relationship taught me about the art of setting boundaries and not getting lost in another person.   It allowed me to step back and watch the past pattern of behavior in wanting to bring another human being into my life to fit perfectly.  In my oblivious state of mind, which is a trait I cannot change, I saw the beauty and perfection of him.  But, relationships take time to evolve, and he fought me from the beginning.  He wasn’t going to change in his early fifties.  He was and is the best version of himself.  Together we would have been the ultimate disaster.  And…knowing this from early on saved us both a lot of grief.

I am aware that people have a diverse multitude of personalities.  They will show different sides to their convenience.  Some people cannot reach the emotional state early on, or ever. I understand that it takes time to learn the truth in another.  Hopefully they know their truth because some folks are just clueless!  This beautiful person showed me to look at myself and be honest with another from the very beginning.  I have taken it upon myself to do just that.  What you see is what you get.  There’s no hidden agenda.  I learned to be upfront in future relationships.  I learned to share my abilities, faults, flaws, and the things I will not tolerate.

Listening with my head rather than my heart, for a little while, allowed me to detach the desire to have a man in my life and see who he really was from the beginning.  I loved that about him.  And, throughout the years in our friendship we have always been to the point with one another.  It’s beautiful to be among a person who knows his truth.

Do yourself a favor and never ignore the words and actions from another when beginning any kind of relationship or friendship.  When someone tells you who they are listen with your mind and an open heart.  Divine guidance is there in those moments that speak truth.  And…always be honest with your feelings.  If it doesn’t feel right…drop it quickly.  You come first and foremost.  Have a blessed day.

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The Sound of Silence

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Silence is the language God speaks, and everything else is a bad translation.” – Father Thomas Keating

As I write this I sit on my sofa listening to the birds chirping outside. The silence of my house echoes through and through me. The gift of time for myself. Spring and summer are hectic times here. Family and friends gather, and guests are everywhere. I love this time. But, I also love solitude and quietness. Our Great Dane is on his bed near me, every so often picking up his head and letting me know that at some point we must venture outside. His deep sighs remind me to take my own deep breaths. It rained last night and the smell of the earth’s nectar has been intoxicated. There is life pumping outside and inside of me. I can hear the sound of life everywhere.

I spent a large portion of my life being awaken each morning to chaos. If it wasn’t the yelling of fear in my own head then it was the external noises of someone who had no peace and had to wake the house up whenever he was up. It was a time of complete mayhem with kids running around and schedules that needed to be met. Time didn’t seem to be relevant to anyone. I have spent the last few years of my life waking up to peace in these mountains. I open my eyes, say my prayers, light candles and sit in silence for a little bit. I go with the rhythm of the morning. I need this space, solitude, and grounding. I need to hear God in those initial moments of returning to this world from the dream state. Anything else, just like the above quote, is a horrible translation for me. And, I know this is ironic: I am a chatterbox during the day. I will make conversation with anyone or anything. I have been known to talk to the trees, the fish, and the rocks. But, my mornings are sacred. I need to go to the windows and look outside and see how the day will receive me. I need to breathe in the entrance of daylight. I require serenity in those first moments of entering a new day with gratitude for still being able to walk the journey. I need to breathe in deeply and let my spirit know that I am grateful for everything.

As I continue to write this I can hear the rattling of leaves with the wind. The frogs are active around the pond, the fist are circling waiting to be fed, and the sun is ready to burst light in this entire valley.  It is a beautiful mountain morning. I am blessed for so many things, but especially the silence of my spirit as I hear God loud and clear. I can’t understand how so many folks avoid this with music and television and the constant distraction of chit-chat inside of their heads. I cannot comprehend how anyone moves into a new day without listening to the voice of quietude before the rest of the loved ones wake. How can you recharge? How can you allow for the Divine to speak? I can’t imagine day in and day out avoiding this peace for the mind, body and spirit. Once you’ve tasted peace it is very difficult to avoid it.

May you allow inner guidance to bring you to a place of silence each day so you can touch the Divine. May you take notice that you are here on borrowed time and make that time count. Open your heart and let love guide you through this spiritual journey into the unknown. It is there that you will find truth, grace and faith. Make it a practice to allow your soul and physical body some sacred moments of peace. You will marvel at the changes in your life. Have a great one!

Out of Order

exhausted-woman

I’ve hit a new over-achieving goal. I have never been this exhausted before that even my sleep time is tired of not sleeping. My eyes are filled with heaviness and it takes all of me to keep them open. I was once described as the “energizer bunny.” I now know what a battery feels like when it is drained of power except my emotions are accountable while the battery just dies. I don’t know where the energy in me sipping out of and onto. Life keeps moving every second I am forced to move along the escalator ~ going up and down whenever. I hope this is not permanent. I don’t remember this feeling of pure nothingness along with an achy body. It feels as if every cell has given up on me, not even generating new ones. And, I hear myself and the negative thoughts I hate with a passion. This is not me! I hate complaining and I despise this feeling of giving up to everything. Even my passions and desires are in an over extended fatigue. They require a higher vibration that I can’t seem to acquire at this time. But, I am up and writing and watching a baby eat cereal while throwing half of them to the floor for the dog. I am up and willing to give it another day, another night and another chance. I just don’t know when I will be me again. When will I feel the energy and zest I have had for so long? I am too young for this and too old to know better. I have rough edges now that I didn’t before this year. It’s as if the softness in me has been torn apart leaving me raw forcing me to examine intricate parts of me that my psyche had been covering.

I want to examine this “exhaustion” as the ending of an old me. I want to believe it’s like chemo burning all the toxic and rebuilding. Endings are crucial, mystical and abstract in so many levels. I want to believe that by being depleted there’s a purpose because I will be substituted with grace, strength and wisdom. This exhaustion is part of the process of eliminating everything from the past and rebuilding with new materials a healthy future. I want this eternal tiredness to be a part of painful growth that’s almost ending. I have to believe from the core of my new rawness and pain that this is a temporary ailment of spiritual evolution. My spirit is showing me that I am more than I can ever credit myself for being.

Last night I went to pick my best friend up at the airport as she’s been gone for over two weeks working. For an hour an a half on the way home we spoke about my disappearing from social media and the disconnection from friends. I expressed my “concerns” with some of my children who have mental issues and feeling as if I was being under a microscope with regards to my grand-daughter. She expressed with great wisdom, “No matter what you do these people will continue to think and say what they feel like saying. You need to live as authentic as you always have. This is nonsense! You have been in hiding. No wonder you’ve been sick and exhausted. I am exhausted knowing what’s coming and seeing you move through every day with the lack of energy that’s not you at all. You are an amazing mother and a wise woman. Do what you need to do to live your truth. They will say and do whatever they feel like because they are not well.” She said a few other things that made me come home and truly inhale. I went into a deep sleep but sometime in the middle of the morning it hit me and I exhaled out loud, “I’ve been in hiding and it’s not worth it. No wonder I am exhausted. I will never be perfect for anyone. I need to live for me.” You can’t fix crazy. I know this. I have a PhD on this subject. And, just like that I realized I couldn’t continue to feel the claws of depression and uncertainty around my neck strangulating every sell from oxygen.

I found a letter from an old friend in a forgotten pocket of my wallet the other day. It was a message that I needed to read after all this time. And, today, just like that I got it:

My wish for you is to fall in love. Fall in love with yourself, darling, in a way that allows that illuminating light of love to shine onto others. Fall madly in love with yourself in the way you fall in love with nature. Let the world be your lover. Be in love with the universe. Radiate the presence of forgiveness, understanding, and compassion that’s always inside of you. I wish you to fall so profoundly that nothing will hurt you ever again when it pertains to a relationship: any type of love, not just a lover but a child, a parent, and a friend. You have learned that pain and disappointments are just experiences to teach you about the different facets of your soul. I wasn’t your greatest love. I was the catalyst for you to experience it. You ARE your greatest love. Look in the mirror and watch the lover in you reflecting….”

Exhaustion is a reminder that I am human and cannot take on anymore than what my spirit can handle. The body has gone on shut-down mode for a reason. I have to honor this moment. I am fortunate to have a mate who steps up to the plate and a friend who follows the flow of my needs. It’s all part of the growth. And, for now I am reminded of a saying in a store that my friend showed me today. “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.” I am listening!!!!

Body Talk

hands

Let my body speak to you

through its texture,

shape,

color,

dimples,

scar,

age,

and hear what it says

in the silence of

the imperfections.

 

Let my body dance

swaying,

trembling,

yelling in movements

the mystery of me

never witnessed before,

challenging you

to let everything go.

 

Let my body be a sponge

taking you in,

draining you out,

and drying your own spirit

by way of mysticism

so divinity can sit

with us together…

forever as one.

Listen

Listen to me

as I understand

isolation,

anxiety,

helplessness,

but let it be known

that it is your mind

not your heart that cripples you

from finding happiness.

 

Listen to me,

if you would let your strength

echo onto the world

it will control all that is not

because we are connected

by a thread of compassion,

love, grace

and truth.

 

Listen to me

and don’t let doubt

dictate who you think you are

but set those echoes

to travel on their own

and be who you really are

which is complete amazement,

divine consciousness of wonder,

and the sum of every life you’ve touched.

 

Listen to me

for all that is said

and unspoken

as time washes over you

because we are footsteps

going forward

never able to go back,

only straight to the heart of love

and all that it will open for you.

 

Listen to me

and I will sit

with all your doubts

and fears

even in silence

I know your trembling heart

and I want you to be free

of the judgment you place of on yourself.

 

Listen to me,

love what you see

and see what you love

and let it take you,

mold you,

make you joyous for this life

while not letting unfairness

make who you are not.

Allow each step you take

move you away from fear

into the arms of Spirit

and the calling of your higher self.

 

I will carry you if you ask.

I will take your burdens from you.

Let your faith pull you towards me —

not push away.

 

I am listening to you…

The voice of sages and wisdom are in you…

You are Oneness.

Voices from Your Heart

My youngest daughter and I were on our way to her school early this morning for her senior trip.  She was excited and waiting on a call from her best friend.  Once she called and they discussed where they would meet she hung up and said, “She sounds so different on the phone.  Why do you think people sound differently when in person versus the telephone?”  I answered that it could be technology.

Once I dropped her off I took the scenic route home through the mountains.  The sun was settling in such a lovely way that a few times I had to stop and take note of it on the side of the road.  I began to think of our conversation.  It is true, people do sound differently on the phone.  I believe it is because we are hearing them rather than being distracted by their physical appearance when in person.  I am not a phone person.  I hate to talk on the phone.  Perhaps it is due to a thousand years of customer service and purchasing jobs.  I get a lot more out of a person when they are in front of me.  I can sense, see and feel the things that aren’t being said.  The phone, to me, is a shell that echoes what you are truly trying to convey.  And, yes, we hear differently.  We are forced to be present (or not, depending on whom you talk to).  When you sit with someone you are engaging in all of them.  You are not just listening to the sound but experiencing the gestures, eye movement and energy.  However, to others the phone is a perfect way of hearing exactly what they need to hear without having to look at the body language or enter the depth of communication.

Speech is the most powerful source of communication.  There are over 7,000 different languages and dialects in the world.  Conversing on the phone has its own form of interpretation.  As we dive deeper into technology we, as a whole society, have lost the art of personal communication.  It is easier to text, email or Facebook another.  Are we really governed by the rush of being constantly charged by cell phones, emails, computers, IPOD’s and any gadget that is supposed to make our lives easier, when in reality they handicap our social skills?  The reality is that if we could stop all these noises and return to simplicity we would actually heal from so many of the stressors in our lives.  I was reminded of how things were in the 1980’s.  You had to wait to get home in order to speak with someone. When you were “on the phone” you were actually sitting near the phone jack. We had no cell phones, no computers, and no other distractions.  If there was bad news we waited to get home to discuss it.  Likewise if there was great news that anticipation made it more special when we got together.  Life was simpler.  We were human beings interacting with each other.  We prayed more, or at least it seemed like that, because there was nothing distracting our thoughts immediately.  This is why I love being in nature…it is the simplest form of communication for me.

Communication has such a diversified psychology to it.  We enter therapy and pay a ton of money to be heard.  We read all the books on how to better ourselves.  We all want to be heard.  Whether it is through a phone call or technology, we want to have our stories acknowledged.  But, “Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.  At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” ~ Vera Nazarian.   And, dear friends, there is nothing more compelling than talking to a live version of you.  Let your voice be heard.  Speech is a murmur from your heart.  Let it take you to the inner places and outer banks of another while touching the truth of what needs to be heard.