aspiringoptimist

Just another WordPress.com site


Leave a comment

Intimacy, defined

I recently (actually, yesterday, as of this writing – 6/4/2016) posted an image/meme giving a definition of Intimacy:

intimacy meme

It made me think about my own definition of intimacy; what it means to me. I posted a response to the original, but decided to capture it here, as well…to be more permanent for the sake of my own journey.

 I would disagree with the statement in one way; intimacy is indeed ALSO about who you let touch you — but not physically. To me, it is very much about who you let in (as well as give your attention to).

It’s a matter of who to whom you lay bare the essential contents of your heart and soul and mind, in the trust that they will be safely taken care of; respected and protected, appreciated, even highly cherished.

To be intimate is to enjoy the prospect of being vulnerable because it feels like the reward is far greater than the risk involved. It is also about providing protection to that same level of vulnerability in another person when they need it most, and not turning away or taking advantage of it.

Intimacy, to me, is actually a cornerstone foundation for true interpersonal unconditional love because it means someone can be genuine, flawed, frightened, strong, nervous, joyful, distracted, intense, playful or withdrawn and it is understood as part of the human condition. And it is all OK.  Again, it need not be physical.

Intimacy, at its best and highest,  is about allowing yourself to express and to offer your whole being and have it be received without reservation, without terms and conditions.

I have been blessed to know this in my lifetime, to varying degrees. It makes life feel far more complete, or at least more vibrant and enriched, when it is present and active and a constant presence in my daily process.

No matter how strong and independent and possessed of self-knowledge someone might be, those gifted characteristics (again, my view) are not as fulfilling without being able to share them with another person, or other people, on some level. It could be a special relationship…or telling your life story so that others can be inspired, holding nothing back. This is not be mistaken for being incomplete or unworthy.

And I would also add, the one “exception” to this might be those special people who truly establish an intimate relationship with their Creator (by any name) that cannot be touched by the limitations of the human condition and ego.

I am eternally grateful for having had this in my life. And if for no other reason, although I have many, I say thank you to the Universe and all of Creation for that.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Glass Elevators

Seems I use this blog on a annual basis; I guess Facebook has somewhat taken its place for saying my piece. For some reason, I feel compelled to go this route today. Let me know what you think.  

elevator shaft

Have you ever been through a similar scenario in your life; dealt with a familiar issue maybe even more than once or twice, had to resolve something that you thought you were done with, struggled with feelings or ideas or beliefs you thought you had put behind you – but now, because you are in a different place, you are able to see things from a different perspective when they come up? I call that the glass elevator condition. You can see where you’ve been, and even though things on every floor look essentially identical, you know you’re going higher than where you were originally.

Different people may get on or off the elevator; sometimes you make conversation and connect with them, and they even be going to your floor. Some, perhaps most, are only along for part of the ride and may not really affect you that much except for delaying your journey upward with their own priorities; doing what they need to do and going wherever they are going. And you don’t hold it against them; they’re just not going to the same place as you are.

It is important to remember where you came from; to recognize that the view from the upper floors is different for a reason. Realize that the things which looked big on the ground floor don’t look as big from the 10th or 14th floor, but you can still see them. It’s just that your view has shifted.  It is important to ask yourself daily; what’s on my ground floor as I take a ride in the glass elevator to the “upper floors” of my life? It may even be a little disconcerting or make you feel insecure to be up higher than you used to be, but the only way to rise is to take step in, press that button, and enjoy the shift from where you came from to where you’re going.

 


Leave a comment

Get Clear and Get Ready….shifting energy

I’ve been using affirmations for years to varying levels of success. What I have heard over and over, and what I have found to be true, is that if the emotional energy behind them isn’t strong, the effectiveness will be limited at best. It’s been said that “the universe doesn’t hear what you say; the universe hears what you mean.” In addition, mental messages-to-self such as “I’m always broke” or “Just get by” are cumulative in effect on the psyche, and develop a slow and deeply ingrained type of momentum.

To that end, I have, in the past week or so, been very conscious of clearing out old long-standing ideas, thoughts, feelings, beliefs that I mentally tell myself are not productive but which linger. There’s no point on reading books, articles, listening to lectures on wealth consciousness… of visualizing the reality I claim to want… if the emotional work of what the soul has absorbed isn’t taken care of.  I didn’t realize how deep it ran, but I refuse to claim it (any longer).

I wanted to share this with people only because one of the main factors in being FREE is to not care what people are going to think; to rise above fear of being judged negatively. And because I know someone else can probably benefit.

This morning, in/through meditation, I received an “updated” version of what resonates with me. I don’t call it an Affirmation, I call it a Declaration in the Now. Maybe someone else (you, whoever you are) will vibe with it as well. Every little bit helps.

I ENJOY FEELING THAT EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS PAID IN FULL AND TAKEN CARE OF, THAT I AND THE PEOPLE I LOVE ARE COMFORTABLE FINANCIALLY, MATERIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, AND THAT I AM ABLE TO GIVE TO MY COMMUNITY IN WHATEVER WAY IS NEEDED. I AM ABLE TO DRAW CLOSER TO DIVINE SOURCE IN EVERYTHING I DO, FEEL, AND AM. I JOYFULLY CONTINUE TO GET CLEAR AND GET READY FOR WHATEVER IS NEXT WITH A FULL HEART EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY.

So there it is… my (current) “Emotional Vision Statement.” If any of this resonates with you, let me know.  The things I want more of–community, trust, interdependent power in relationship–are built partly through transparency.  So I am claiming that as well.

Hetep.u (Peace and Blessings be Unto You)


Leave a comment

Releasing Fear and Moving Onward and Upward

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for my blog. And this might be a bit choppy; not the smoothest exposition of words and thoughts I’ve ever committed to screen or paper. Things from the heart rarely are.  But I need to get this out.

In light of all the events going on in the world…the revolution that is literally unfolding before my/our eyes every day…. In my own life, I have been grappling with things no one would ever guess (like most people). A lot of it has to do with FEAR on different levels.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

“False Evidence Appearing Real.”

“The emotional experience of the expectation of loss that hasn’t happened yet” (my own concept and understanding of fear).

“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

Why do I bring these up? It’s complicated, but not really. To say I am, or for most of my life have been, a private person, who chooses my words and personal connections very carefully is, perhaps, an understatement. What I have recognized, though, is that “deeper-down” a lot of that was fear of being misunderstood, not being accepted, rejected, made fun of…..you get the picture. Much of which was completely unfounded.

But it left an indelible mark on my thought process and became part of “who I think I am.” The same goes for the idea of getting by, making do, doing without….and calling it being a minimalist, when in reality it was, at least in part, the FEAR of creating expectations I would need to continue to live up to—for myself, the people around me (who I tried to keep to a minimum, as detailed above) and avoidance of putting myself in a position to keep going higher and expand my life socially, emotionally, financially. And again, this became part of “who I (think I) am,” even after having a family. In some ways, it was part of why my marriage didn’t last—we were, and are, very different people.  Just a tiny bit more on that later.

There is another saying: “to get something you never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. “ For me, that requires both an expansion and a release. On one hand, I need to embrace that many people have something to offer my life, and that it is actually mutual—my gifts are not always obvious because they are of the heart and soul and mind, but we are in times when these things are more important than ever. Being humble doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less (I picked that one up somewhere also—probably Facebook). I owe it to my family, and the community I choose to live in, to not live in fear of being MORE than I think I am; to keep stepping out, keep being honest, keep being increasingly transparent. Keep asking myself: “what am I afraid of?” Is it losing the image of having it all together? Of what people might think?

Here’s the deal…front page. I have a job I love, but I struggle financially. Constantly. I have made some choices that seemed necessary at the time but which are all compounding seemingly at the worst time. I paid off some large debts only to incur more due to various life circumstances to the point that it is affecting my children in ways I am, to say the least, not comfortable with (any more). I rationalized, for a long time, that things I do without were because of sacrifice, but in reality it was because I just felt like I couldn’t afford it. And even typing these words, my critical voice is saying “STOP! What are you doing? Why are you telling the world our secrets?” And that is exactly why I need to. Another old saying, this one a proverb from Ethiopia: “He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.”

I don’t want to be in a situation where having to spend $25 on new shoes is going to break me, but here I am. I “should” be way past this point. I am “supposed” to be at a stage in life where I am building steadily and aggressively toward a secure future for retirement, for my kids’ college…. But I’m not. As “weak” as it may sound, my mother helps me when she can, even my “advanced” age of 44, which I am profoundly, deeply, eternally grateful for…  just being honest (which to me¸ more than anything, means telling your own truth, not giving your view of someone else’s).

Back to my co-parent: I appreciate her for the security and stability she has provided for our children in ways I was not prepared for. Even though I had a hand over the years in helping her get to the point where she could, she definitely deals with certain things a lot better than I do at this stage in our lives, based on her current level of career and financial preparation. We look at the world differently, but as far as handling “business” she is uncontestably more on top of it than I am.

One thing I do pride myself on is that when I decide to do something, and when I am faced with a situation that is perhaps difficult but unavoidable, I do my best to face it and move through it instead of around it. And that is what this is about. Moving through. Not hiding, not going around other people’s beliefs, thoughts, criticisms, questions, judgments, but out in the open so I can be free to release whatever I need to without telling the same half-story over and over.

If gang leaders can come together to protest the brutality and dehumanization of Black lives, I can get over my own sh… and do whatever I can to put myself in a better position to be of use to everyone and everything I love.

Starting a vegetarian cooking business (a long-time dream) —which I am just getting into shape now with help from a lot of caring people– was, in a way, the crack that opened the rest of this flood. Not sure how coherent this all is, but I feel 30 pounds lighter inside. Last year, I shed a lot of physical weight and reclaimed my body to where I wanted to be; I made my health part of who I am, not just part of what I do. This is the same process, only broader.

Unclear what it all looks like, but I am—my soul is– happy for the decision to allow it. I would rather have people see me fully for who and what I am than who or what they think I am. I have also learned, somewhat the hard way, that peace can only be achieved (at least for me), not by “adding it” but by releasing whatever it is that prevents it. Perhaps more than anything, for most of my life, having peace has been my #1 priority.  Sometimes I just went about it the wrong way.

Respect and blessings to one and all.


2 Comments

Tale of Two Cities

I’ve had this blog, which I started as a way to get some thoughts captured regardless of who actually read it, since 2011. I haven’t used it much primarily because I have been more active on Facebook, but I had some thoughts that are better served here than as a long-a** post.

I just came back from a week-long vacation visiting family of all sorts in New York City. And it struck on Day 4 (Saturday) that I really was HOME. I haven’t lived in NYC full-time since I graduated from HS in 1988, but that place, particularly Brooklyn, is embedded in my spiritual DNA. I have lived in Charleston, SC for over four years, and I enjoy it, but I did not feel like I was “away from home.” I lived in Chicago for 10 years but for whatever reason (s), it never really grabbed me, so it’s not about how much time you spend in a place. And I realized when I was about to board JetBlue this afternoon that I was indeed “leaving home to go home.”

Home is where you are comfortable; where you are free to be yourself, where you don’t need to think much (if at all) about how you fit in. Where you feel like a part of your surroundings rather than an attachment to something else or having to second-guess at every turn. Home is where you are CONFIDENT in your own value and abilities, where your worth and connections are affirmed. Home is, in many ways, determined by where your SOUL feels alive. So while it feels good to be home, I look forward to going home again as soon as possible.


Leave a comment

Addendum to Relationship Rules…

Hey Guys,

One thing I forgot to add, and I thought about just continuing the previous post but decided to write separately, is an observation I made a long time ago (in my 20’s) about how men and women view relationships at that stage and younger. IN GENERAL: Using the analogy of “time spent” as a bank account, it seems that men tend to look at relationships as a checking account; you  put time in and it is what it is; it comes and goes, and being in the same “zone” with a woman is OK. You don’t lose anything. It serves a purpose, which is to fill certain physical and emotional needs. Not to say it’s that calculated, but it just isn’t that big a deal.

On the other hand, it seems women tend to view relationships as more of a savings account; “time spent” is supposed to yield a return on investment–as in progressing toward certain life goals, like getting engaged then married, and when it doesn’t, it’s sometimes difficult to understand or accept.

Even as teenagers, casual flirting (holding hands, a kiss on the cheek, etc.) can have consequences so that girls end up in conflict and boys look bewildered as if they didn’t do anything wrong, which in their minds, they didn’t, because they don’t understand the process going on.

I could elaborate more, but that is the basic “construct” I wanted to throw out there.

What do you think? Have you witnessed, perpetuated or been a part of a reflection of this? When did you realize it and move beyond (if you have)?

 

 

 


1 Comment

A beginning

 OK, I have  to admit I have close to zero idea why I’m doing this.  Something, let’s just call it “The Voice of God” for lack of a better label or description, motivated me to start a blog today. Yes, I’ve thought about it before…but I kept coming back to the same self-defeating thought that ultimately prevented further (read:ANY) progress up to this point, which  was, essentially “I’m just not that interesting.”

So there it is: maybe my soul/spirit/conscious mind, whatever we’re made up of, has decided to take up the challenge. To do it–for the sake of doing it. And maybe I might find that I say something that will resonate with other people. I started by trying to find a place to put my poetry and other writing on line, an e-safety deposit box  (or maybe bulletin board is a more apt analogy) but with access by potentially millions of people. And I probably still will. I have no rules here,  just a semi-uncharacteristic desire to express my opinions to the world in an uncontrolled setting.  Yikes.

I’m at less that 200 words and I’m already nervous.

Let’s see where it goes.