Friday, December 28, 2012

Eleven Questions About Love

How much of what We do is out of fear of that which we can't control?

How much of how we live our lives is out of fear that we will have to drop the fantasy that we can avoid pain/loss/grief/rejection in the future?

How much do we hold back when we love others because we are afraid we will love more, better, longer, more ardently and deeper than the other person will love us?

How much of what we do is one of the millions of things we use to distract ourselves from our fears or create an illusion that someone or something can protect us from being abandoned?

The very notions of things like "wedded bliss" or Heaven are stories we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about the reality of failed marriages, death, disappointment and pain: "I can endure my unhappiness because I will be happy when ..." This tricks our brain into thinking someone or something else will make us happy so that we can not face our fears.

Promising another human being that living authentically will for sure mean I will always only want to be partners with them is the price I pay so that I can believe that I am less vulnerable to rejection, loneliness and heartbreak.

We are simply TERROR STRICKEN by the idea that someone we love might wake up tomorrow and follow their heart someplace we can't go. We are SO AFRAID we will do that one thing or fail to do that one thing that causes someone we love to stop loving us. We CAN NOT ABIDE giving ourselves to or sharing ourselves with one more person who then decides we aren't enough or we are too much. No. No. NO.

"I won't survive that one more fucking time," we hear our hearts say brokenly. "I will break into a million pieces this time. This will be time that I finally shatter. There will be too many tiny shards of me to piece back together."

Even I have days in which I want to arrange to keep myself loved for life. In my pain, loneliness and fear I momentarily consider lying down on the altar ... ANY altar ... to end or even ease the pain. Someone's arms around me feels necessary in those moments. To rest in someone's love seems like oxygen. We NEED it, we tell ourselves as we sign a marriage contract or put away certain parts of ourselves so that the other person will want us.

But then I thought this thought last night and it was like a kick in my gut:
What if there is a person who, after we faced our fears and decided to take the risk of being shattered, is someone with whom we would love and enjoy (and be loved and enjoyed by) so well that we would mutually keep picking each morning to spend that coming day with one another, for our whole lives, without a binding contract? What if we DON'T lean into the fear, but instead agree to make one another PROMISE to love us? What if that means I never find out that this other person and I would pick one another every day for a lifetime, without a promise or contract? Without fear.

What if falling in love feels so good because each time the "other" picks to see us again, take us out, hold our hand, make love to us, want to know us, and anything else that we crave and enjoy, it is a MIRACLE?

What if the rush of a new romance is because every day we woke up and thought, "He or she might stop liking me today," but then they DIDN'T?

What if it is BECAUSE of the fear, the facing of risk and the vulnerability to pain and heartbreak that we feel so moved by the other picking us again today?

What if deep down inside we all long to be picked FREELY every day but we are too afraid to face the flip side of that freedom because it means we might be rejected and abandoned?

Friday, December 14, 2012


The only reason I get up in the morning is because my real self knows, wants and is capable of loving. The people closest to me have almost without exception hurt me...from one perspective. From another I have hurt them. But to pull back and see the whole picture is to see that we are spirits/real selves having a human experience in the mind body. The people who have mishandled me are just as good inside as I am. From a certain perspective the man who shot innocent children today is someone who needs love, compassion and of course truth, more than you and I do.

To say that someone else is inherently evil is to say I might be, too. If I am inherently evil, or you are, why am I able to love my kids unconditionally? Why am I holding some hope that people like my kids are able to walk into adulthood with a sense of who they really are, as well as a realistic vision of what their mind body is capable of?

Some mind bodies need psychiatric drugs. Some are in so much pain that they need to smoke pot. Some need more hugs. Some need a regular routine. Some need to not eat dairy or wheat. Some would die if their bee stings went untreated. Some need all their skin to be covered at all times. Some need glasses. Some need a prosthesis.

The only hope we have is that we each get a mind body to pilot and we can become more or less aware of how that mind body ticks, what it needs, etc. while we are having a human experience. The only hope is not a god who infuses goodness into those who choose to believe certain theology, but rather a race of human beings who house a spirit that is connected to all other spirits AND housed in a mind body that simply works how a mind body works.

And we get to love. We get to impact the human experience of others by living from our own real selves, and doing so even when others don't. This is also why religion that asks for behavior modification never does anything but make people shove awareness of their mind body further into their subconscious. It is only by listening to the voice of our real selves...our knowing...our higher self, etc. that we can learn to live from our spirit rather than our mind bodies.

Forgiveness is not defining the other person by the thing they did that hurt or harmed us; it is the insistence that they are not "all bad." It is insisting on recognizing, no matter how I've been hurt, that the other person is not a perpetrator who was always this evil, anymore than I'm inherently a victim who was always going to be victimized. It is putting your own energy behind validating the real self of even the person who hurt you most. Having hope for them. Desiring for them to be out of the perpetrator role, out from under the judgment of others and out of whatever it is that is *wrong*/wounded in their mind body. I do NOT think saying this invalidates anyone's pain. I have experienced that having this perspective, or at least pointing in the direction of it, is one of the best ways to heal.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Is fear a natural property of the mind body? If there is one thing that we are specifically afraid of what is it? What's the "root" fear? Why is the spirit having a human experience? Was spirit trying to do something specific by having a human experience? Is spirit (knowing the way things really are) stronger than fear? If you somehow live more through the spirit than through the mind body, are you unable to Unsee what you know through spirit? Or are you forever transformed, as if you had lasic surgery? Would everyone hear, if they listened to their spirit's knowing that the larger, real picture is that "All is well?" That's what I hear. Why are some people more aware of having a knowing than others? Is it true that I think I can "spot" someone's spirit/real self even if they aren't even aware of having one?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I want to consciously listen to my mind-body more, but to listen with the understanding that my mind-body is always in fight-or-flight mode, trying to stop feeling afraid or in pain. That's what mind bodies do; that's their nature. But it is this mind-body that I am in and though it is very childish in the way it responds to fear, it also has is capable of positive feelings, sensations, and the ability to feel pleasure.

This is rather like being unemployed: you look back on the time you were unemployed and you think, "Wow I could have experienced that as a break/vacation/sabbatical, but instead I spent the whole time feeling anxiety."

I don't know how long my spirit will have a human experience in this body, or 'a body at all, so each day is precious. While I have use of this body I want to experience as much content, peace, love, hugs, kisses, love-making, orgasm, yummy food, laughter, loving touch, back rubs, adrenaline rushes after a long run, warm bath water, "butterflies" in my tummy, cuddles, warm socks on cold feet, and the smell of a campfires, Carmel beach at sundown, and a newborn baby's head.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Even more musings about love...

I've always handled telling someone I love something I think will hurt or disappoint them by telling the minimum and softening it, then after gauging their reaction, going on to explain more (or not).

So far I have about three friends in the whole world who I am completely transparent with. I have had dozens of friendships/relationships that I have sustained despite the fact that I think that if I was absolutely authentic they would reject or at least be disappointed in me. Why?

Fear, of course. I have been willing to live in a whole fucking lot of fear as the "cost" of being loved. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I can say that it would not be a hard decision to lose my life while saving the life of a loved one. That, for me, wouldn't take a lot of courage.

The very bravest thing that me, Cheryl, could do, would be to be absolutely authentic all the time. It is easier for me to want those close to me to understand me when we're talking about the good things about me or even the things that make me tick in my quirky way. But then when it comes to my foibles, I am terrified of telling people exactly who I am. And then actually WANTING them to really understood what is inside of me is a whole other level.

But I know that every way I cover up, mask, hide, soften, or leave out the truth of who I am in a friendship or relationship is a time bomb I'm planting in the foundation. All relationship built on that foundation is to some degree a lie.

Though it's scary as hell, I want to be brave enough to give to people I'm close to a bright, crisp, clear picture of who I am. From the beginning on.

I've known I wanted to be that brave and that open since I was a child, I realize. I didn't think I would be loved unless my faults and errors were minimized and I was the victim, and therefore less at fault, in every situation, even the ones when I really fucked up. I definitely did NOT think I would ever have the courage to bare myself and really allow the other person to see the truth of who I am.

The irony of all this is that I can see clearly that the ONLY way I ever feel loved and accepted is by those who I know really KNOW who I am and love me in spite of that. So by hiding in fear all these years I have been setting relationships I'm in up to fail. They don't stand a chance if I have to walk in the back door, sneak into the dressing room, put on a costume and have complete hair and makeup done before I make my appearance. If I have to be something other than authentic to be part of a relationship it is doomed.

But so many friendships and even marriages are forged while one or both people is presenting themselves as different than they are, even by shades. We can see it when others do it. If you've ever watched someone YOU know really well start a friendship or a romance in some sort of posturing, you know what I mean. It's actually really irritating to watch, for example, a person you know start dressing completely different and in a way that "matches" the person they are wanting to impress. It can be nearly nauseating to watch someone close to you "change" their belief system, lifestyle, desires for the future, etc. overnight, then change them again the next time a new relationship begins.

The prospect of living absolutely authentically, without the fear of the other person rejecting me, and completely free to be completely my self, is .... Well .... Exciting! And it makes me feel like I have a fresh page in front of me. Like I'm somehow starting over in a way. I know this is one of those "next steps " I'm being invited to take. And I'm going to take it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The distillation of a day of writing

Yes, by leaving the growing flower in the dirt where you first admired it means you can't have it to yourself. It means you are NEVER, EVER going to be sure that the flower will still be there tomorrow. And showing up to look for the flower every morning, and sitting next to it and watching and supporting its growth... THAT is love. Resisting the urge to have, own and keep another mind body close to our own means we are vulnerable to loneliness. Abandonment. Rejection. But it also means we stand a chance of actually loving and being loved. Love happens within the tension and despite the fear. Love gives freely and with abandon because it hasn't arranged for the other person to be next to them in all their tomorrows.