Space, Commitment, and Freedom

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It’s one thing to know what you want, it’s another to create or attract it. But the very act of naming it is a first step. Having had as many miracles as I”ve had in my life, I know there’s a lot just to saying a little prayer and wishing on a star.

But there is of course more to it than that, and not just brute force effort.

We have to create the space for that change to happen.

In my case, that will probably mean waking up earlier every day to write, every day, even if it’s just a small amount.

ANd in terms of attracting love, I need to have my own life uncluttered in order to make room for someone new.

It’s quite real, this feeling of wanting something real and solid, not just an ethereal rainbow you try in vain to hold in your hand, but the solid gem your finger, a new part of you as permanently etched as a tattoo, that throws the light on the walls.

Someone to hold in your arms, someone to make plans with, someone to eat with- that’s what I”m looking for.

I don’t need a platonic image, something so perfect it can’t survive, a bit of lightning that strikes once and never again, lighting up everything around it for a brief moment only to cede abruptly to the dark of night.

Not an image of what could have been, or what should be; not someone to demand approval from, not someone from the life I thought I was supposed to lead.  Someone to free me instead of domestic me; someone to tousle my hair instead of straighten it; someone to love me, 20 extra pounds or not.  Someone who doesn’t provide a real incentive to change, but encourages me to be more of who I am.

Someone who I look forward to giving and receiving daily acts of kindness with, and not just grand romantic gestures of high romance.

A commitment that will make me freer to do the things I really want to do, because I’ll have someone to encourage the best in me and whose vision of life will make mine richer.

The Meaning of Life- Part Infinity

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The second you realize writing is one of the most important things n your life, and actually the main thing you’d like to do with it, the blank page gets a lot scarier.

It was much easier to hide behind this being a hobby and thinking my day job was my real raison d’etre.

But really, my day job is what gives me material and perspective. I still have a lot to learn.

After only a year in business, I”m pretty sure that it’s really not for me. Funny how I also had this feeling all throughout grad school. But when I asked myself the question, if not this, what else? I had a pretty blank response except something about teaching.

But what would I teach? that’s always been the baffling part. Maybe I will be a business professor someday, but ultimately I”m happy for this time I”m working on geting mastery in something and exposure to a whole new world. I have the best day job in the world. It definitely aligns with my purpose and has helped me to discover it more and more.  Just because it may not be the ultimate vehicle doesn’t mean it’s bad in any way.

But the truth is, I have felt like what I am doing is a little empty. I enjoy succeeding and being a fly on the wall to observe everything. I”m learning a lot. But when I picture success, it’s not necesarily the corner office- or at least not that alone.

Success for me is having freedom in terms of both time and money. And mostly, just doing things I actually want to do with my life. SO the boring and difficult things feel like they are going towards something I really care about, in addition to paying the bills and providing a distraction outside of work.

I can’t be too tough on myself- another lesson from this year. Perfection is for amateurs playing video games- making mistakes is for warriors making life or death decisions.  Life during my schooling was pretty easy in the sense that you just had to folow the rules exert a little bit of effort and pass go, hopefully winning a little medal or something. And everyone got a door prize. Now, I also feel like I”m in high schoool. To a large extent, I have greater autonomy than I did, but my time is very structured and while it is probably good for me at this point, I know that this is a skin I am growing out of. I haven’t learned all it has to teach me yet, and for the moment I like my job and it’s all quite bearable, but you know the way you boil a frog is by raising the temperature a little at a time.  And despite my “bonne eleve,” type A tendencies, I have made some mistakes and failed to plan in a big way. I find it really hard to muster the discipline to order my life outside of work, and I feel like work really drains me.

Now I know work really drains everyone and adult life is hard, but I want something better for myself. Something a little lighter.

A little more woo woo and fluffy for some.

But once when I thought of success, I thought of a big beautiful house in the country, writing/teaching/researchin ga few hours per day, and spending the rest of the time in wonder, and with my family.

NoW I think maybe I”ll ahve that house in the country, or a big apartment in Paris waiting for me, but that lifewill involve many quests, many adventures.  And the itchy feet will always lead me home.

But home is where the heart is. It is not always where my family is physically located.

It is France, though it is also being home home with my family for Christmas.

It is that guy that I may or may not have met yet, the person who really knows me and loves me and accepts me.

And maybe someday it will b the pitter patter of little feet, an extension of myself yet completely separate, completely their own personalities.

Maybe the point of the journey is not to get all that you always wanted at the end. The purpose is not even to help you set a goal- to to define exactly what you want, in minute detail, so you can make it a reality sheer force. Maybe it’s more about being open to all that life can bring.

Maybe it’s a love of life that transcends everything, just a giant, blanketing, pervasive love that goes beyond countries, religions, mountains, oceans, continents, languages, from philosophy to accounting and back again.

And beyond bestowing any skill or material resource, the fruit of the quest is the courage to just keep going, over and over, to keep scaling that hilltop to see the sun rise, to see the sun set. Knowing it will do the same tomorrow, and yet being grateful and amazed to see it one more time.  To love this day, even though it will never come again.

~

Finally, we kill the buddha. We let go of the biggest of all illusions- that there is somewhere to get to, that we are ever anything other than cosmic children, swinging on stars.  There is no where to get to. There is no where to go back to. There is no real forward or back, only now. And each now will have its blessings and sorrows. There will be moments of great triumph, there will be treasures found and unburied and taken home.  But every ending is another beginning. And to ask for a new beginning, you must accept an ending.

So in the time that remains to us, though life is never really lost, living- with enough vulnerability to miss the sun when it sets at night and enough courage to venture out into the darkness to see the stars-is the power and the glory, from now till kingdom come.

The Frog Prince

I often make the joke that maybe I will someday meet my “frog prince,” aka a French Prince Charming. I have kissed a few, or so, and so far none has transformed into the man of my dreams.

Some versions of the original Frog Prince

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/FrogPrin.shtml

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/frogking/index.html

Apparently the kissing the frog part wasn’t added until modern times.

But then, the joke is really on me because the story of the Frog Prince is about seeing beyond appearances and us vs them. It’s not really a story about a princess making the frog transform, it’s about the frog helping the princess grow (and relying on her to help him become his true self).

I have been the spoiled princess. And there have been times I have been so focused on trying to find my own true love, in the only way I could imagine he could show up, that I may have been blind to other possibilities.

And yes, maybe a frog could be my one true love. In general, I do rather like/LOVE France.

I like the older version of the story. It’s not the kiss, it’s the intimacy that helps break the spell. Which was in no way the prince’s fault.

And maybe I just need to realize that there is more to people than what it seems on the surface, and see the beauty within no matter how unexpected the form my true love takes.

Namaste,

MJ

Why I am still single, overweight, and struggling Part Eleventy billion

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So I was consoling myself from a minor but chronic complaint I don’t want to disclose on the interwebs. Nothing life threatening, nothing painful, just annoying and embarassing. The stuff of life we try to say is our own fault but is also part of just rolling the dice.  (Or maybe it’s just the fact that everybody is getting married and I haven’t been on a decent first date in forever and it seems the pool of people I could potentially have an interest in shrinks every moment and that right person is probably on another goddamn continent, if he exists at all.) I’m sure something comes to your mind- be it credit card debt, a washing machine that leaks, that guy next door that coughs every morning, that touch of a cold you just can’t seem to shake you probably got from being out too late and drinking too much and now you can’t seem to get through a conversation ithout having to blow your nose though you aren’t quite sick enough to stay at home–

so let’s get to the reasons

1) because sometimes when you spin the wheel of fortune, you lose.

For all the encouragement to take risks and all the exhortations to be bold, it still hurts to lose. And every once in a while, every body does. No one is immune to the whims of fate.  Whether good or bad, it could happen to you.  You can help work towards good things and help protect against bad, but ultimately a lot of what happens to us is outside of our control. ANd most of the good things in life carry a risk of some amount of bad things, or are bad in themselves in excess.

And some people find the right person in college, and now find their engagement so likely as not to be worth posting about on facebook.

and others, often the best people, don’t go on areal date until they have gotten their first job.

kissing frogs is tough.

kissing toads is worse.

and we can beat ourselves up every day about not knowing which way it would go from the beginning, and it’s true that sometimes we ignore the little voice, but sometimes you have to live and learn.

Sometimes you go to the ball and come home with a sprained ankle and didn’t get a chance to dance. But at least you were there, and you’ve licked your wounds to be able to fight another day.  Once you learn how to fight that is.

2) you are so used to your solitay, comfortless, comfort eating mindless self indulgence ritual that you are too numb and dull to actually connect with the present moment and too damn chickenshit to actually feel your pain.

it’s to simple to just let the tape keep rolling and go through the routine.

sometimes life hits so hard or just stings so bad that it feels like you need that routine. Pussy. maybe you do.

and you hope that maybe one day, the conveyor belt will stop rolling, the director will yell cut, and like lucy you can stop stuffing those bon bons away to any part of you you can reach.

the problem is, you are the director.

but see #1. you can to a certain extend control your actions, but remember you’ll never really be in control.

and those bon bons are just weighing you down.

but you are human.

And for this too, you need to forgive yourself.

Although you will always be stuck on the wheel…

3) being human sucks.

it does really. we have the capacity for great joy and great suffering. we often suffer. suffering is often the motor of positive change. its a hard knocks life.

4) you just won’t open up. you won’t open up your mind to new ways of thinking. you won’t open your heart to the person you’d least expect but who will be your best and truest friend. You will continue to fantasize about the unavailable person who doesn’t love you but fits your bill while you will turn away empty all those who sought to win your love honestly.

you won’t give up on the dream you had as a child, even if it doesn’t bring you joy anymore. you won’t drop the job that you din’t like, because you are too busy trying to excel. you won’t stop telling yourself, it would be different if X, this is not my real life, and you just dig your heels into a fantasy world of perfection making the real world just get farther and farther away.

life will just keep breaking your heart until it opens…

and then you will think you know something, and it will break your heart some more.

5) and you just won’t get over that one fucker who broke your heart. or the dog who died, taking a piece of you with him. You won’t get over the race you didn’t win in elementary school that wrecked your hopes of an Olympic medal. YOu won’t let go what’s gone, and you are afraid to reach for anything new because it may not last either. ANd you know what, it will probably hurt even worse than before because you will be wondering why the fuck you gave it a chance, you should have known better, it was all your fault, but they’re all the same.

get used to it. impermanence is a thing.

and until youaccept that pain, until you realize there’s nothing you can do to escape but to live in the shadows of a half lived life, and not even that works too well, you can move forward and stop bitching and maybe make something. it might last, it might not, you can win or you canlose. But stop being a loser and get in the game.

6) you look in the mirror, and you don’t like what you see.

Change it. Well you can’t change everything. So yeah change it but…

love yourself now. Life is too short. ANd that’s the only key to real change anyhow.

You wil never feel the love from the world if you can’t feel it inyourself.

So man up.

Lucky 7) It’s not your time. time waits for no man, but you can’t hurry love. accept where you are in this moment. struggling isn’t going to chance it. So just be where you are, and breathe.

That’s a second that’s already gone, taking you somewhere you’ve never been, and that breath will never be again.

Let go.

Namaste,

MJ

Of Real Love and Paris

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The first time I went to Paris I was far from in love with it.  I actually had a feeling more akin to “so this is it?”  It was also very, very cold, especially for Paris, and I was not well dressed for the weather, and everything was expensive.  I had dinner in St Michel and a guy from New Jersey owned the restaurant.

Same thing for the second, third, fourth, times where I was passing through for a few days. It was nice, but while I loved France, I wasn’t particularly obsessed with Paris.

ANd then the fifth time came, and I remember telling my mom, “Yeah, all the streets look the same and it’s just a bigger version of any French city.”

But then as I became integrated in the life and the fact that there was something incredible to see every day, and the awesome people I met, things changed.

It felt like I fit.

Just before that trip, I remember telling friends that after I finished business school, there was no where else that would make sense for me, no where else I could possibly end up, outside of Washington, DC. Nor any career that could ever fit besides public policy.

Well, as it turned out I was dead wrong.

My first few months in Paris, I thought all my worries would fall away like water. I thought the dream had been won.

But as it turned out, the real dragons were in my head. THe real souce of not feeling like I belonged came from within.

ANd as it turns out, even moving to the City of Light can leave you feeling trapped, alone, and in the dark for a while.

A geographic move may set things in motion, but you still have to go out there and build a life for yourself. As my business coach says, “The grass is green where you water it.”

But I was so paralyzed by self doubt, loneliness, anxiety, and being an impostor in my own skin that I still doubted everything that I had done, still crucified myself for any perceived mistake or misstep. I couldn’t let myself be human, I couldn’t accept anything less than my ego’s standard of perfect.

At the same time, I was still “in love,” with someone I’d met years ago, in literally another life, in the life I planned in DC. ANd he was everything I wanted in a man…or so I told myself.  As per my usual, I’d fallen in love quickly and had an image I just wouldn’t give up, an image of masculine perfection I wanted to impose on him. Which I wouldn’t open my eyes to see wasn’t the reality. Not out of friendliness or compassion, but out sheer desperation to believe in my idol, I refused to read the writing on the wall.

It was a selfish, trite deception of what selfless love could be.

And truly, I loved my friend. I did really care about him, and he was in many ways everything I thought aman should be. But he wasn’t. And he wasn’t in love with me.

So instead of saying, “o well,” i just dug in harder, ever more convinced it was just a matter of convincing him, just a matter of time, just a matter of destny before he saw my worth and loved me back.

And all the while there were many clues that while he said he watned many things of the life I wanted, he wanted to live abroad and all, ultimately I don’t know if that’s what he really wants.  And I know there are many things about him I don’t like, no matter how much I tried not to see him.

WHen it comes down to it, I pursued him because I didn’t trust him to pursue me.

1) Becase I wasn’t sure he was up for it; at some point I doubted his capacity for the courage and daring and wherewithal to do so

2) Because I wasn’t sure I was worth it.  I wasn’t sure I was pretty enough, smart enough, feminine enough, thin enough for the man I wanted so much to believe was perfect.

And here’s the tricky part: there’s no real 100% ill-wishing bad guy in this story. But there are no heroes and no villains and no wrapped up in a bow happy ending.

Except that perhaps both of us have emerged with the lessons we needed to keep fighting the good fight and will be that much closer to knowing how to love and be loved and be ourselves in this world.

And for me, I realized I was worshipping a clay idol instead of a living God. I was caught up in my own delusion of what my story should be, I was inflexible as a rock but thankfully the living water of the God who is with us throughout our lives, softly and gently forming us into something better, intervened. So omnipresent, so gentle and imperceptible that we are fish in the water who don’t believe water is real.

And as for Paris, it is a journey, not a city.

It is a way fo thinking, a moveable feast

Though I don’t intend to move for quite a while.

And in Prais, while I often calculate the taxes  I could be saving, the salary I could be getting, the general ease of living in my native, prosperous, dynamic country, the fac tthat there are many American companies with good vacation, benefits, and salaries, the way this economy does not seem to be growing at all…

Here I am, and for the moment, I have all that I really need.

ANd even if I can’t understand why I need to be here, even if it doesn’t make any conscious sense, I feel it.

I feel it on that deep, soulful, still small voice, be still and know that I am God, kind of way.

This may seem like I’m conflating  romantic, selfish, idle pursuit with a mystical purpose, but the two my seem the same. And romance and the spirit are definitely not exclusive.

And as for real love, it might start as a tickle, the tiniest trickle of passion, an imperceptive leak in your defenses letting your love free, and end as a cataract flowing into the ocean.

You might not know, “this is it,” from the moment you meet the guy.

Getting into a relationship may not be the end of anxiety, loneliness, and even heartache.

Getting maried will not be the end of uncertainty or the beginning of a conflict free life.

This person will probably not resolve all your contradictions in the “safe” way your ego wants.

He may not be what you pictured from the time you were a little girl.

But certainly, he will capture the wonder.

He will be your friend.

And when he offers you flowers, though they may not be perfectly arranged, or a compliment, no matter how awkward, you will be that little girl again, you will feel “I am lovely,” and you will know you are loved.

And this is the Prince Charming you’ve been waiting for, this is the love you always knew you could feel.

And to the jaded, cynical, battered part of you who has had her heart broken a million times, you will recognize your brokenness, your vulnerability, and even though you know fairy tales don’t always come true, you will believe, one more time.

And once again you will give up the life you imagined to life the life that is waiting for you, to receive the love you always deserved but had not yet found, and find your heart has grown enough to receive it all and give back a love you’d almost lost hope of ever feeling.

It’s time for me to be brave, and patient.

I have nothing to fear.

Looking at all the great things that have already been done by GOd in my life, there is so much to inspire faith.

That all-encompassing love, even beyond Paris or the love of my life, is already available to me, always has been, and always will be.

I’m all for hard work and putting in the effort, but for some things you ultimately need to open your arms to receive abundantly.

So I believe.

Joy, Faith, and Happiness

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Since my mood is 1000% better now and I finally feel like I”ve gotten out of my funk and am even more happy and resilient from before, I’d like to share some things I’ve learned.

Joy

Finding joy in life is all about the little pleasures and realizing the gift it is to be alive, and to be alive as yourself living your life.

Imagine you were just born a second ago. What would seem incredible to you?

Imagine you were going to die in a few minutes.  What would you pay attention to? What would you notice?  What would you revel in one last time?

Both of these premises are completely true. Each moment is completely new, and each moment will never come again, when it it is gone it’s gone.

As a wise hostel manager in the south of France once explained to me, “The same thing may happen again, but it will never happen in exactly the same way, in the same circumstances, with the same people.” So checking people into their rooms was an adventure for him every time, no matter how many travellers or tourists he’d seen of that sort, no matter hwo many times he showed them how the door code worked.

Don’t just live like you are dying; live like you are newborn.

Faith

Faith for me has meant that I choose to see the future as a field of possibility, not threats.  It means I have faith that there is something higher than me, that there is some sense even if I can’t see it. Obviously, I have no proof of this idea, but it does change how you perceive life.

And faith in yourself is also life changing. THe feeling that I, with the grace of God, will deal with anything that comes my way, is a powerful one.

I have tended to worry far too much about external circumstances permitting X, Y, or Z to happen as I plan.  Getting rid of the plan is also important- admitting there is an intelligence higher than yours and having faith in order to improvise is key.  Life is more like jazz than classical music at some moments. We need to have faith to look within and above, and see the stars shining down on us instead of just wondering, O, why me? when we get papercuts.

Happiness

The key to happiness is about 99.999% getting rid of your expectations.  Very often, we set goals and conditions under which we will be happy. WHen I attain X, I will be happy is a common formula. But what we fail to realize is that even if the outcome has been Y, and not X, we can still be happy!  I don’t know about you, but very few things have turned out according to my expectations. THe college I went to and ended up loving and that  opened many doors for me, both literally and figuratively, was actually the list on the list. I sent in an application at the last minute because it wasn’t too much trouble. I ended up getting a shcolarship, and the rest is history.

The first time I cam eto Paris, I wasn’t really impressed. I wasn’t really impressed the second time either. But the third time was a chram, even as I reassured my mother that there was nothing too special about it, it was just a big French city, no longer the center o the world. But now ti is the center of mine.

One of the main reasons I haven’t yet found love is due to my long standing unwillingness to let go of expectations.  He must be tall, barrel chested, weigh more than me….already very hard criteria to fill in France! Now there’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, but maybe the reason you want that is because you are not comfortable with yourself- or maybe it’s just what you like. But yeah, I htink that being inflexible in my demands has probably played a role.

On the other hand, I am happy with my life now though I would like to be iwth a a special someone, enough so that I would let go of some of my preconceptions (though not core values) of what I want.

There’s nothing wrong with having specific ideas about what you want, but when it doesn’t exist, or something that’s not technically what you wanted works just as well if not better and you are still not adapting, that’s a moment where you are choosing nto to be happy.

Case in point- I thought I wanted a studio in one neighborhood, and it would cost a lot and I dind’t think I could do it. SO I was willing to stay with the status quo. And then, just recently I started looking into flat shares in different neighborhoods, and it turns out there may be more than one way to get a bigger apartment closer to the city center at a reasonable price! And maybe I will make a lifelong friend in the process, or just have osmeone to motivate me not to leave dirty dishes in the sink!  Could be killing a few birds with one stone, but just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, my current apartment is pretty nicely decorated, so there’s that ;)

So chillax and enjoy your Saturday!

About to go to the hairdresser- hope I can keep an open mind and take my own advice!

Namaste,

MJ

Fragility Part II: The Truth

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before I drive myself crazy–

The truth is that, no matter how much of a scary crazy badass independent woman I might be, I want so much more than that.

The truth is that while I can at times separate my body and mind and heart, I can’t do it forever.  My heart wants to love and be loved, and my body would prefer that too.

My mind is just, well, afraid.

My mind would rather create melodramas and act the puppetmaster to another sad bad romance than actually give up one ounce of control.

My ego would rather see me jerked around by somebody than actually open up to really love them and manifest a real relationship with them, it would rather crash and burn knowing before it starts that I’ll lose than take a real risk that somebody will change my life, really break my heart, and leave me empty

not that my heart doesn’t feel too. It just doesn’t hear the excuses about waitingfor x, y, and z to line up before getting attached. And it doesnt get attached unless it wants to stay somewhere, with somebody. actually my heart mind probably tried to clue my ego in on this from time to time, but it’s not that my heart is without fear.

But at some point, I have to stop either rationalizinthe fear away, rationalizing whatever already known to be futile action.

The truth is that I”m happy where I am, and I am ready to step into the ring again.

But first atht means to step out of stupid dating, and start like, opening up my eyesto see.

ANd givingpeople a chance I wouldn’t have thought of, and loving and accepting the real me knowing that will manifest he best love of my life, and hopefully one that iwll change and grow with me.

Fragility: A Modern Day Fable

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I used to think fragility was about letting a crystal glass fall to the floor and shatter, and berating myself for mourning it when I knew it was going to break anyway.

It was more about pushing the hero off the pedestal, making demands that time wouldn’t allow him to meet,

showing more of myself than I was ready to tell.

It meant saying I love you to someone who didn’t have the time of day for me, because I couldn’t be less than honest, I couldn’t do less than strive, no matter how hopeless the situation.

It meant letting someone let you down over and over again, until the Sevres plate was chipped beyond all recognition and had to be thrown out.

It was about leaving silk out in the rain and knowing you’d have to throw it out, but not being willing to take it out of the elements since that was where it was left, where you wanted to put it.

It was more about putting myself in the way of disappointment, and hopeless, Candide faith that wasn’t worth a damn. It was about letting life let you down, letting people let you down, opening yourself up to be eaten alive, diving in knowing you were going to drown.

There was a certain self abnegating, Rainbow fish quality to it. LIke the giving tree left as a stump, it seemed like love, even though it just left me as a stump.

It came somehow out of the feeling that my feelings weren’t really worth much, and a resignation, a fatalism that any slipper than that wasn’t a perfect fit was futile- even if the perfect one was made of glass and even after searching every cellar and table, there was no Cinderella to found.

And no one but you had seen Cinderella at the ball, but if you squinted just so, there was a prince instead of a toad.

And you just kept on kissing him, only to find he’d given you warts!

And the same thing happened, when you ate the magic apple and fell into a deathlike stupor,

And history repeated itself again and again until finally, you kissed the wolf in Grandma’s clothing and he ate you whole.

Then finally, by the grace of God, the whale spit you out on the shores of Ninevah and I stopped mixing metaphors.

And finally, you began to understand. It took some locust eating in the desert and some more imagery from the accursed city where you fasted and prayed, but it happened.

one day, you found that the tree that had been sheltering you had become a friend. ANd the tree had a soul, and even eyes and ears and lips.

The tree was not a feature of the landscape, but he might as well have been since you decided he wasn’t Prince Charming.  His skin was mere bark to you, his shade just a moment of respite.

Until the tree, or rather the man, earned your trust.  It took a while, but then all of a sudden, your body began to recognize him. Your skin felt it first- not bark, not plastic, not stone- not a statue, not an idol, not a carven image, but a real man.

But he didn’t look like Prince Charming, and he wasn’t treating you like a princess either, so you continued not paying too much attention to him- or he to you, honestly- and you just enjoyed his shade from time to time.

It was companionable, much as it was disconcerting for you both to look each other in the eyes.

Then one day the message finally traveled to your head- This is a real boy! And your mind had plans for him.

What role could he play? WHat mask should he wear? How can he be seamlessly integrated into the soap opera of your life?

Which of the 12 storylines in the world is this, and how can we edit the story so, “it had to be you?” and by what means can we catch him, uproot him, and plant him in our garden? No better, how can we take off a branch in the briefest of spring flowers, and make it stay as a flower forever, under glass, unchanging, un growing, un dying.

And how could you bare your heart to him in a way that would make him give up his? How could you use your honesty to manipulate him? How could you make sure you got the happy ending, finally, and make sense of all those past wrongs and hurts and mostof all, your own mistakes?  How could you keep the story going, so you never had to settle, so you were always the victim, if only ofyour own desire, how could you kep the dream of riding off into the sunset alive?

Finally, it became clear, listening to all that nonsense.

You said, “I don’t want to turn someone into a prop in my fantasy.”

You said, “I want to find someone to love who will become my fantasy, and my reality.”

You said, “I want someone who feeds my imagination, but I want to let go of my illusions and delusion.”

And at that moment, it was a new story.

You turned to another chaper, where the plot was as yet uncharted, the end unwritten.

This was a story you couldn’t quite predict, and you wrote it with care.

First, you stopped thinking of him as a tree, or Mr Prince CHarming. ANd you noticed how over time, you liked him more.

Second, instead of telling this being that you loved him, you waited. And you decided to get to know him.

Third, you were patient, and you didn’t try to force an opening when there was none. You stopped playing tennis without a partner. You were interested but not obsessed.

and Fourth, you let him go, when life was calling him elsewhere. (He wasn’t a tree after all.)

Knowing that he didn’t have to be Prince Charming, knowing that you didn’t have to control the end, and most of all, that you could wait to see what happens, that was your Valentine’s Day present to yourself.

ANd just knowing that it will all be ok, regardless of how it turns out, was monomental.

Now you are fragile, in love with your garden, with your puppy, and not with your reflection in the funhouse mirror.

Now you are building something,and letting all roads lead to Rome which wasn’t built in a day after all.

Now, you are letting things go, simply because they are too heavy. ANd that includes the checklist an dall your far too heavy expectations and that narrow box you wanted to put him in.

Now you are letting things go, letting your old self go, your old patterns and habits.

And ou are makign some space to, when the time comes, let someone in.

And until then, you are just happy.

And after, whatever may happen, you are just happy.

Because love is not te crystal glass or the diamond ring. It is the light hat makes them shine and cast rainbows on the wall, and it is yours, from deep within.

The end.

Namaste,

MJ

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