Old words with the same message

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I am doing something I don’t usually do by copying and pasting a post I wrote back in February of this year.  The words I wrote then have a hauntingly familiar refrain and I want to share them again because I think they should be read.

 

“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on, it takes a lot of strength to let go.” ~ J.C. Watts

~~

I was born a “fixer” and, until a few years ago, I had spent a great deal of my time taking on other people’s burdens as my own.  But something shifted in the paradigm of my reality when I got divorced in 2012.  I realized I was spending too much of my time trying to change a life that was not mine to change.  I was hanging on to problems that irrevocably had impact on my life but I had no power to solve.  I needed to let go.  But I was so stuck in the pattern of my life that I didn’t know how to let go.  I wanted so desperately for things to work out in my life that I honestly thought that this was the syllabus of my future.

It takes a monumental amount of courage to walk away from a relationship that you have put your heart and soul into, but a relationship has to give you what you need for it to be successful.  By its very definition, a relationship is a form of communication.  Wants and needs are expressed and, in a healthy relationship, are reciprocated without condition.  Such was not the case for me and I knew it.  I felt it deep within myself but it took me a long time to admit it because to do that would have made me feel like I had failed.  But I had only failed myself by not seeing the signs sooner and listening to that nagging inner voice.

I finally found the nerve to put my needs first and, in finally letting go, I gave myself permission to define myself according to my needs and not the needs of anyone else.  The strength to hang on was easy, it was my comfort zone, but finding the strength to let go made me feel eviscerated, vulnerable, and it was not something I was accustomed to.

I wanted to write this post because I have friends now in the situation in which I found myself years ago.  I want them to know that letting go is not always the easy choice, but it may be the right choice, for them.   It may be hard to listen to that petulant voice in your head, but that voice is the most sincerely honest advice you will ever get.

let it go

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Don’t give up easily.  If it is worth the fight, than fight, fight like your life depends on it.  But if you know in your heart that nothing will ever change, let go, let go like your life depends on it.

Do you have something in a Birkenstock?

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Fairy tales miss the mark when it comes to really telling a story.  As I child, I would rush through the illustrated pages to get to the part when the Prince planted that life-renewing kiss on the Princess’ lips or the little glass slipper was delicately placed on the foot of Cinderella and they found their happily ever after.

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At that young age I didn’t realize that the true depth of that fable should have been in the whole story and not just the ending.  Along the way the malleable minds of youth should have been introduced to the somewhat imperfect side of fairy tales to prepare us a little more for reality.  I’m all for happy endings.  I know many couples who have found theirs.  But I also know many people who have kissed a lot of frogs and are still waiting for that Disney-worthy moment before the curtain closes.

What we missed as children was the real meat of the relationships in those fairy tales.  Nothing in those woven myths gave us cause to concern ourselves with what happens after the shoe fits.  In the animated versions of those fictional accounts, the music comes to its crescendo and we are left surfing on the tsunami of perfect love.   But what if Sleeping Beauty just wanted another eight hours of sleep before she stepped back into a life she was trying to avoid?   What if Cinderella didn’t want the shoe to fit anymore but was too afraid to speak up?

We have to remember there are a lot of other shoes out there.  Just because that glass slipper fit like a glove doesn’t mean we should feel obligated to wear it and put ourselves through a great deal of discomfort in the process.  Sure, we’ve all heard the saying “if the shoe fits” but if the shoe does fit and you don’t like it, don’t be afraid to look for another shoe.

Always

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“Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion” ~ Arthur Koestler

trees

His face was etched in my dream,

and it seemed like he waited for me.

Every night as I drifted into sleep,

he was there, eager for me to be in his realm.

His hand would reach for mine

and we would lose ourselves in a world

where time stood still,

where anything was possible,

where we could be together.

He was my forever.

But my forever changed,

minutes shifted,

seconds were altered,

and what once seemed like reality

slowly devolved into fantasy once again.

Where once he was my future,

he quickly became my past.

And in my last dream,

there was no hand to hold my hand.

His smile no longer reflected mine,

and my illusion of always

changed.

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Lost together

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lost-in-a-dream

Lost in a dream,

fleeting thoughts of you

take me to a place long ago,

where I’m lost in your eyes,

the way they used to look in to mine,

really seeing me, as you held me.

I become lost in your arms,

remembering the smell of your skin

and the taste of your kiss.

I fall, lost in your love,

never wanting to let go,

not wanting the dream to end.

But I awaken,

your face disappears but the memory lingers,

and now I feel lost again, without you.

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I am in love

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“Life is about finding someone who understands the sum of your parts….and not just some of your parts.” ~ SN

~~~

 It seems my brain, lately, has been running programs in the background that I have been unaware of, until now.  Being in the hospitality industry, and being a student of life, I have had the good fortune of meeting a great number of couples.  Some couples go through their journey alone and many travel the road of life with their children.  And over the last few months, I seem to have been paying much more attention to how these couples interact with each other – the nuances of the looks they give each other, their unspoken communication and the respect they have for each other as best friends and as lovers, and not just as parents.

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There is a silent language they speak, an inaudible conversation they have been having for years.  You can see it in the way they look at each other and laugh at the same silly things.  Their declaration of love comes from a mere touch, their bodies speak to one another, and their understanding of each other comes from years of really getting to know everything about that other person.

I have slowly come to realize that I am in love with the way they are in love.  They just get each other.   They realize that they have found the person who loves everything about them and not just the things they are supposed to love.  They share crazy habits and the same sense of humor but they are mindful of the mannerisms that they don’t quite understand.  They can spend hours just talking and never be bored in each other’s company.

The opening line of this post is one I came up with earlier this year and it has stuck with me.  Enough so that it has haunted me until I was able to eventually use it on this blog.

Whether I have yet to meet him or he is somehow already in my life, I’m willing to wait for that someone.   That person who will know me, really know me, and take every opportunity to let me know that he gets my math.

What love could look like

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embrace

I remember the moment.

It isn’t hazy or clouded, but clear in my memory.

Your eyes met mine, your hand touched my shoulder

and you curled me into your embrace.

The day had been frivolous.

The sky was untouched by clouds

and our laughter permeated the wind.

We sat with the sun soaking into our skin.

We allowed the true beauty of life to envelop us

and we just enjoyed living.

That moment drew me to you.

I saw you as you are.

I saw you in the moments you are happiest,

the moments where nothing else existed.

I was intoxicated by your ability to escape from the shackles of the real world,

to let life drive while you took the back seat,

able to enjoy the ride.

I remember the moment.

That moment will thrive in my memory.

It taught me about your passions and wants.

It reintroduced my wishes and desires.

And it made me know what love could look like.

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Because that’s how he held me

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holding-hands

His grip was strong,

but tender,

and that’s how he held me,

firm in his grasp, but tender in his emotion.

But it wasn’t just how he held me,

it’s how he saw me.

His look was beyond flesh,

it looked past imperfections.

He just saw me,

for who I was,

under the shroud of my physical form.

He looked into me and,

as his hand held mine,

in that frozen moment,

I became lost in him.

His grip was strong, but tender,

and in that grasp,

now lies my heart.

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