Humans and love

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I want to write about love. The urge sits in my chest like the ground presses into the earth. Heavy, strong and pulling down as though it was meant to be. I get saturated with words that catch pieces of love, grabbing them from the air, here a little there a little as if greedy for something more concrete and shaped. But the picture of love emerges only as the pieces come together, only as experience arrives at my door. Love makes sense the more the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

But how can we talk about love without talking about pain? Read More

Loveliness

 

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How is it that hurt arrives, fully dressed onto our front porches and into our homes?

How is it that we invite hurt in and then delicately and sometimes violently serve it to our friends, lovers, neighbours and strangers? That our bowels fill with tears we cannot cry and words that cannot be spoken?

How is it that the human heart is good at shielding away every thing that would make us admit that we have been failing at loving well and fully? That our only crime has been that we have not been loving hard?

Relationships are simple. Truly. On paper they move from A to B and to C effortlessly. We imagine ourselves as pros, strong and capable. We can do relationships like warriors.

But after walking into the arena we soon find out that not everything that is simple is easy.

Relationships take us on a journey. A journey that is unravelling even as it is edifying. But no matter how far we go or how wide our every limb is spread out, we must always come back home, beat brow and all, we must always come home to the truth: relationships are about love. Without love there is nothing lovely.

We must all set down our burdens and look at each other. To look closely to see where loveliness has died and bring it back to life.

Relationships should be the space where loveliness lives – the very love child of love herself.

I string together a wish, for you and for me, that the hurt will stop, between friends, lovers, neighbours, and strangers…because hurt is the opposite of lovely.

My wish is that we will become breathless for loveliness; to want it so bad we become fierce for it, for our relationships.

 

**I am taking a break from long posts so I can re-group, concentrate on other writing and finish my dissertation** xoxo

Friday shots: comfort food

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Show up next to me. And love me senseless.

Let me stay in your arms, all the parts of me for all the parts of you. Moulding to you like perfectly sticky chocolate. Rich and decadent.

Your love, it is amazing. A thing of champions. The way it swoops me off my feet and into the very core of you. The way it caresses my skin. It traces my particular lines, defining my edges. I am beautiful. I am me.

Your love, it satisfies the hungry spaces in me, filling all my depths.

Your love, it it is amazing. It nourishes as it soothes.

Your love, it is all I want.

If THOR were real

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If Thor were real, he would be you.

Whose eyes I would drown in. Whose chest would be heavy enough to take the imprint of my heart. It would be your hands that would pull me closer to shrink all the spaces between us. It would be your arms that would hold me, moulding every part of me to every part of you.

But Thor is not real. He is a figment of our imagination. A man-god on whose shoulders we have placed our belief in salvation. We like our saviours in capes, flying from one end of the heavens to the other saving the world & all the worthy damsels in distress along the way. Men can’t fly but we like to fantasize that they could. & what it would be like if they did.

I sat in the dark, holding my heart in my hands completely sucked into the illusion. This beautiful illusion that left me open & wanting more, more of the nothingness that exists between crafted reality & stories. I ached from this need just the way the world wants me to – grasping for the things that are not real & do not last. Things that move the soul to the edges of ecstasy promising so much but showing up on our stoop empty handed. This beautiful illusion was tempting, so tempting—

But Thor isn’t real. He is not you calling down lightening to rescue me. I don’t even need rescuing.

So, never mind Thor. I want you.

You in all your comfortable & uncomfortable ways you exist in the world. In all your rawness & awkwardness as a man who is trying to figure it out just like the rest of us. A man who is committed to loving me – me in all my parts.

I want to know you are real, in the way my fingers fit the spaces in-between yours, in the way your heartbeats hums at the touch of my hand because you feel me here, my skin against yours. & there is nothing else in this moment but grace. Shame has no place here. It huddles with fear outside our love, looking in & wanting what we have. But we won’t let it in. We are selfish for each other. There is no holding back. We see each other as we are, naked & vulnerable until you become me & I become you.  I want to love you like that.

I want to know you are real in the way you tell me to stop when I act out of character & when you listen to the words I do not say. You will stand in the gap for me, shielding me & all that is ours with your big, broad chest. No man can compete with you. I will love you with all the strength in my body.

If Thor were real, even he wouldn’t stand a chance.

When love takes so long to come

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Some people do love like the back of their hand. From the moment they are born it seems to flow to them like an enchanted river, ready to do their bidding. Pulling to them like a raw magnet. Irresistible. Inexplicable.

For some of us it doesn’t quite work like that. No matter how sensuously we sway our hips or bat our eye- lashes. For some of us love requires an intervention – a divine intervention. It requires miracles & magic; nothing short of God. He has to dig & explode things for us.

Often this takes years. It feels like a lifetime.

So what does she do when love takes so long to come?

Granted she can run ahead & try and make things happen for herself. She could shave her legs & powder her cheeks. Use every womanly wile to catch a man. She could do that. But maybe her mama taught her better – that a man that can be caught like a fish can also swim away at the sight of another pool of water.

Love is a beautiful dangerous thing. The stories that reach my ears of love found & then lost confirm my fears – we desperately ache for it but we don’t know how to do it well. Maybe it’s not our fault. We might just not have it in us. We can blame it on our pitiful nature. Or we can look ourselves squarely in the face.

I shudder at the thought of messing up love.

I want to do love like a superstar.

On the days I’m wearing my high heels & on the days my feet are closer to the ground. I want to show up in the arena with everything I’ve got, ready to work this love thing out. Expectations & responsibility perfectly balanced on my scales. Vulnerability & openness stapled to the sleeves of my heart. Resilience & patience filling the pockets of my soul. A tempered tongue that speaks tenderness & life into things. I want to do love like a superstar.

But what do I do when love takes so long to come?

Waiting is hard.

Especially when the world tells you you ought to ask for what you want now. Waiting has become a foreign concept & the woman who waits is too often ridiculed. & then there is the danger of whole of life feeling like a waiting game, as though you are waiting for life to begin. There is no magic portion to cure this malady. Waiting is hard. You have to have patience to wait. In that sense, the cure is in the perspective.

What does she do when love takes so long to come?

She lives; like it’s the only thing she knows to do well; like her whole life depended on it.

She practices everyday the art of being a lovely human being.

She collects nuggets of wisdom & sews them to her sinews & they become part of her flesh. Part of her.

She builds. things of beauty & things of hope. lovely in all their form.

She becomes the place where all rivers run to – full of fertile things & things that nourish.

She becomes the woman love will always choose. again & again & again.

Your side of the bed

side of the bedEvery morning I open my eyes & glance over to your side of the bed. This bed is too big for one person, I always think to myself. Why on earth did I get such a big bed?

I throw off the covers & I‘m ready for it. I’ve come a long way with my relationship with making the bed. It used to be my most despised chore but now I have grown to like it. to delight in it even.

Your side of the bed is always intact. perfect. unused. This bed is too big, I think again. It needs you in it. I need you in it.

When I was little, I used to think every woman had a man. Mama had Papa. & all my friend’s mommies had their pappies. I just knew it was the way of the world – that one day when I was all grown up, you would come along & complete the picture. easy, simple. 123.

It never crossed my mind that you would take so long – that I would become a woman of the world, accomplished in many ways & not have you to walk into when I was feeling threatened, vulnerable, teary & just down right weak. No, baby, I never thought you would take this long.

Sometimes I toss & turn. not because I can’t sleep but because this bed is too big & I can’t warm it all. Your side of the bed is cold & lonely. needing you. I need you.

In-between straightening the sheets, I think about my evolution. Of how I can tell you that I am not incomplete without you. I used to be. There is no hole in my heart that you can fill. & I don’t need you to. What I need is to love you senseless. to give you my all. because I can & because it has been given me to. I am complete in ways that make me feel safe in my incompleteness without you.

I fluff the pillows on your side of the bed & think of all the single ladies. just like me. who wait & wait & wait. Holding out for the best of you. My heart swells up with pride. Something has got to be said about them. them bold & beautiful women who value their hearts enough to put them in the right hands of a man.

I used to wait for you to come & change my life. to give meaning to it. I had handed you that power wrapped in coloured, silvery frills & ribbons. But I’m taking it back now. because it does not belong to you. It does not belong in your hands.

You are beautiful & intoxicating, no doubt, but you are not my saviour. I thought I had you figured out – I had you cornered & bound in intense feeling, emotion & passion. I didn’t see the other part – the privilege & opportunity for growth, adventure & service. You are all these things. You are my lover & friend. You are gold.

I am become free of you. so free that I can love you to bits & pieces. I can handle you under my skin. warm & thick like honey dripping. delicious. so very delicious.

I smile as I caress your side of the bed, thinking & knowing that when the time is right, you will come through that door & find your home. Besides me. In your side of the bed.

When it doesn’t ‘feel’ like love

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I must confess that the more I learn about love, the more ill-equipped I feel to comment or talk about it. I am ashamed of my own inadequacies and inability to love with a pure love that is unconditional and unfettered in selfishness. And yet I am also in awe of my deep craving for someone’s fingers to intertwine with mine as we whisper forever to each other.

So, I am by no means an expert on this subject. I am, however, becoming an expert on the heart, especially my own and all the beauty and mess that lives there.

I have given up fighting the fact that I will always be a fool for things that bubble with life. Things like a job that sets your heart on fire with purpose and makes you leap out of bed every morning; a confidence that is sure-footed, steady and balanced tethering neither to the left nor to the right; relationships that are abuzz and overflowing with luxurious abundance; and love, love, love.

But as I have learned, things that bubble with life require some form of work. Love, too.

Anyone who walks into a relationship with their eyes closed expecting it to be easy might be disappointed…and so, so heartbroken. Things in relationships – any relationship for that matter – don’t always go according to plan.

Relationships don’t work themselves out. Nor does love. It’s a powerful thing, love, but we mess it up when we come along. Because we are imperfect. But this should never be an excuse. The aim is to try and get it right. And that always begins somewhere.

Everyone loves differently and receives love differently. We are all not milk in a claypot. Some of us are the clay, and some of us are the milk.

My kind of love is the kind that is deep and nourishing; the kind of conversations knee deep in heart and soul; of checking up on me just because you can; loving me thoughtfully in words and actions. I respond to detailed simplicity – extra hot, hot chocolate in a red mug; shared silence on a park bench; a squeeze of the hand; sunset kisses; and hugs; big, warm and wonderful hugs.

One of the things I struggled with in the past was knowing for sure that a friend or anyone else who said they loved me really meant it especially when it didn’t quite feel like love to me.

And so I found myself telling myself to let people love me the way they wanted to love me.  This is fine, I suppose. But there is something even better…communicating what love feels like to me.

Unmet expectations or needs are the life-choker of relationships. But there is something even worse than these formidable enemies – unarticulated needs and expectations that could be met or negotiated if spoken. Unsaid expectations can leave you feeling unsure of someone’s heart towards you if the way that they’re loving you doesn’t actually feel like love to you.

In this case, talk is not cheap; it is a life-line.

And it starts with you. Learn what feels like love to your person – friend, lover, family member – and then “get good at it”. And then share what your kind of love is with them.

There is nothing wrong with feeling loved the way you want to be loved. There is everything right with it. Expect imperfections but be assured that your relationships will thrive with communicated honesty and vulnerability about expectations.

Remember it starts with you, not the other person. Learn how they feel loved first.

And when and if their love doesn’t feel like love to you, say it. Start the conversation. Try.

And then maybe you and I can start a love revolution.

Becoming the love you want to find

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Ok.

So love is beginning to make sense to me.

And no, the heavens didn’t open up and I didn’t hear a choir singing.

My love revelation came as mundane as they come – through a routine conversation with a beautiful friend. We were simply catching up and exchanging stories about our hearts and thoughts. She shared with me something she had recently read and this is what it said:

“Be the love you want to find”

It doesn’t take much to inspire me and so naturally, in a second, those words took me on an other-worldly journey. I started telling my friend that I thought I was already this love I wanted to find but before I could finish my sentence, something in me compelled me to stop and really think about what I was about to say.

The depth and immensity of that statement suddenly dawned on me. I had to ask myself;

“What kind of love do I want to find?”

I am a hopeless romantic, so much so that I consider myself a lost cause.

I grew up with day dreams of a knight in shining armour riding long and hard through the dark forest to come and rescue me. And I, being a beautiful maiden locked up in the dungeon of the evil queen’s tower. Yeah. Typical girlhood fantasies 🙂

But I must confess that even as a woman, I still hold on to this foolish dream that my knight will come. The only difference is; he will be the real thing with a real heart that can feel and bleed.

The thing with romance though, especially the ridiculous kind that is inculcated in us through books, movies and Hollywood is that, frankly, it isn’t real. And the main reason it isn’t real is because it is confused for love.

And love is perhaps only two percent romance. The rest of it is made up of something entirely different. And that something has a lot to do with the connection between the heart and the mind. What makes it confounding is that your heart and mind not only have to connect with each other but with another person’s heart and mind as well.

This is complicated but it is not impossible.

I think a lot of us expect love to be perfect. But love, as long as it involves human beings, will never be perfect. This does not mean it cannot be beautiful. It just means that you have to work for that beauty.

Love cannot be scripted or planned but it can be nurtured and grown and guided. It is not magical. It can become magical.

So, what kind of love do I want?

Well…I want:

i) a love that is real

I want to share my life with a living, breathing man and not one that exists in my head. This means this man will be imperfect. But so will I. He will have a past with baggage. And so will I. A love that is real is willing to face and work through the fears, doubts, differences, insecurities and hurts that come with relationships. I want to fumble my way through love with this man and grow in the process. I want a love that is grounded in reality and that means it will have an allowance and the capacity to house the coexistence of two very different souls, minds and hearts. I want a love that is raw and dirty because that’s what real means to me.

ii) a love that is honest

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than being able to bare your heart and soul to the one you love; to speak your truth and be heard; to not hold back despite the doubts and insecurities. The love I want is comfortable in being uncomfortable when words have to be spoken and feelings expressed. The love I want is willing and okay with being genuine and forthright.

iii) a love that is vulnerable

Without vulnerability there can be no love. We are taught to be scared of letting people see our soul and the needs imprinted on it. We are taught not only to keep those needs to ourselves but to fill them ourselves as well. No one should know about them. This is so ingrained in us that when someone shows us their need, we tend to recoil and say, “oh no, I can’t…don’t show me that!” I want a love that is not afraid to be afraid. I want a man who will stand there, terrified as he may be, as I show him my heart with all its emotions spilling out. I want a man who is willing to learn to be comfortable with a woman’s heart in his hands; a man who wants to explore and discover me as I explore and discover him. A man who will be brave enough to show me his fear and scars and let me love him anyway.

iv) a love that rides on shooting stars

I want a love that is drunk with passion; the kind that makes you forget to breathe as it explodes in your chest and; the kind of love that rides on shooting stars and ricochets throughout the entire universe. Intoxicating; beguiling; mesmerizing; and magical because it has grown and found its own rhythm, the rhythm only I and my lover can create.

Will I find this crazy and over the top kind of love?

I don’t know…but I will become it.

And maybe in the process I will attract what I become.

I will be real, honest, vulnerable and passionate. I am trading the fantasy for the real thing. Yes, I will still dream of my knight but I will dream with my heart and mind and not just my heart.

Love doesn’t always just happen.

It takes work, patience, divine favour and lots and lots of soul work. It’s not something you fall into. It is something you grow into. It is something you become.

My dream for you is that you will become the love you want to find and have in your life.

I know I insanely want to.

Love never fails

This is the title of the song that is giving me goose bumps at the moment.

It’s by Brandon Heath and each time I listen to it, every scale around my heart melts away and tightened chains anywhere within my being loosen up.

It is simple yet so very beautiful and profound. I could not resist sharing it with you.

Here are the lyrics:

“Love is not proud. Love does not boast. Love after all matters the most.
Love does not run. Love does not hide. Love does not keep locked inside.
Love is a river that flows through. Love never fails you.
Love will sustain. Love will provide. Love will not cease at the end of time.
Love will protect. Love always hopes. And Love still believes when you don’t.
Love is the arms that are holding you. Love never fails you.
When my heart won’t make a sound. When I can’t turn back around. When the sky is falling down. Nothing is greater than this…greater than this.
Because love is right here. Love is alive. Love is the way, the truth, the life.
Love is the river that flows through. Love is the arms that are holding you. Love is the place you will fly to. Love never fails you.”

There is nothing more real and true than what these words encapsulate.

I hope you can take the time to appreciate the simplicity…but also understand the sheer power that is Love.

That you will be grateful for the ability and opportunity to give and experience it.

That you will fill your life with this one thing in the entire world that will NEVER fail you.

I wish you love today.

Doing love

I’m watching Channel Nine’s The Farmer Wants A Wife and a funny thing has been happening to me for the last hour of the show. I feel compelled to put the volume on mute and I keep looking away or shutting my eyes with waves of trepidation washing through me. I caught myself in the act of doing all these things and I demanded an explanation…from myself.

It just hit me now that the only time I feel this way is when I am extremely embarrassed. This show is embarrassing me. The question is why?

I don’t know these people who are willing and brave enough to take part in a show that assumes falling in love is like a script. And yet my heart cringes for them- for their total abandonment to this pervading nonsense of reality that Hollywood has cooked up. They all seem like wonderful people and I’m sure they are…but what is this really all about?

And here I was thinking I was the only single diva in Melbourne. Well, apart from my girlfriend Karinya!

But clearly, there are hundreds of people out there desperately trying not to be alone. People who would do anything to find love, even if it means being in a crazy show like The Farmer Wants A Wife. But is this love? Is love something you search for? Do you go out there to look for it as a hunter searches for prized deer? Or is it something that just happens in a blink of an eye…as you fall into it? As a woman do you sit and wait for love to come knocking on your door?

I must be honest and say that I don’t know the complete answers to these questions. I too, was searching… and then waiting, until I realised that love is not out there to be discovered or here to be patient for. Love is something you do. I’m doing love right now. When what you do comes from a place of respect, honour, dignity, beauty, peace and out- going concern then you are doing love. And when you’re doing love, love will have no choice but to do you…eventually. It might take some time but if you are truly doing love you might not even notice that love took a while to walk through your door.

You see, there is a principle in life that I think is so understated; “what we sow is what we reap”. This principle is as real and sure as the law of gravity so pause a while and think.

It breaks my heart that love in today’s definition appears to have lost its essence, that vortex of realness that makes men-men and women-women. It has been reduced to a mere chemical reaction that you can fall in and out of depending on how you’re feeling. Love has become a sugar-coated superficiality. We have lost respect for the greatest gift God has ever given us, the living force that drives life itself. We’ve lost the plot. And as long as it stays like that, I’m afraid shows like The Farmer Wants A Wife will always embarrass me.