Monday, March 5, 2012

New Found Love.

New found love can be overwhelming. It open you up for the possibilities that you might have otherwise not prepared for. Yes, we want love, and yes, we often go out to find it, yet do we really know what to do with it once we recognize it's presence.

I have loved three times in my lifetime. Each was actually short lived, yet each was life changing. I am one that never expected love. I feared that I lacked the capacity to sustain the me in the we. Experience has shown me that when I fall, I fall very hard. I have learned that I have a big open heart, and if not careful, I do begin to lose site of who I am.

Tonight I lay here in bed, restless, lacking of sleep, and feeling frustrated that my love is not laying here beside me. Between living miles apart, and working complete opposite schedules, we can barely carve out a couple of nights together each week. We do have our morning check ins, quick hello's during work breaks, and occasionally some facetime with the help of our iPhones. Yet each of these ways to maintain connection only make me yearn all the more for him hour by hour.

My mind is all consumed by him. My heart is overflowing with love, and my body craves his body. I need that touch. His embrace. I need to feel his breath, and to taste his lips. I need to hold him at night, and know that we are connected, body, mind and soul.

I have my fears. I have my weaknesses. I have my vulnerabilities.

I realized tonight that in my mind, I lost my first love to God. We were both seminarians, studying to become Catholic priests. I chose to leave, he chose to stay. I couldn't compete with God. God wanted him, and God got him in the end. My next love, well, God took him too. God took my love from this world far too soon. A brain tumor. Well, I was no match for the tumor, or another way of looking at it, I was once again no match for God's will.

So what am I worried about? If I give in to love, if I come to rely on it, which I have, will I lose once again?

I know the answer. Yes, there is that possibility. I could lose myself in falling so deep. I could lose the equilibrium that I have worked so hard to recreate. I could lose that which I know to expect, and gain what is unexpected. I know that if I shy away from new found love that my life, and my heart, can be protected. Yet, is that what I want? No.

I want to work through this early yearning. I want to wade through the frustrating and scary times. I want to bask in the future possibility of having the new him beside me for whatever time God chooses, or he chooses, or we choose. I want love. I have love. I want patience. I seek patience. I want to grow, and I want to maintain me.

Am I thinking too hard? Yes, likely. Yet, that is who I am. I know myself. I know enough to write out my thoughts, express my feelings, then let go.

This is me letting go.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tangible Memories

How do we remember moments.

For some, pictures are a way of tracking milestones along the way. Whenever a holiday arrives, the camera is taken out. When a vacation is planned, the camera is packed. When one's child performs in a school function, the parent often views the performance through a lens.

I have never been one who chronicles my life with photo images. Maybe I'll one day regret this, or more likely, my children will regret my choices. I often sit and observe those around me who are so caught up in capturing the moment, that they are not really present to what is occurring.

I much prefer to participate in the moment, and rely on my memories. An image on film, or on my computer screen, is pleasant to look at. Photo images often help us to remember special occasions, but what are we remembering? Can we truly remember the emotion evoked by the occasion if we were behind a camera?

For me, I like to let others do the picture taking. I much prefer to remember each moment by what I was feeling. I want to remember the way the air felt, the way the person touched me, or the sounds I heard. I want to capture these moments in words, and to have been fully present enough to give a first person account. This is not to say that photos cannot do the same, they are just not the medium for me. I will rely on others to capture the visual images, while I will take away the emotions that connect me to that particular moment.

I think back on significant days in my personal history, and I am able to remember the way it felt to be there. When I am focused on a particular memory, I am less inclined to picture it in my mind. Most often, I experience the memory as an extension of myself. Each past event has contributed to how I see, or experience, my world today. In that way, the memories are part of who I am. They are stored within me. Some are very cognitive in nature. They remain locked in my mind. Other's are kept near my heart, where they are nurtured. At times I like to stare at myself in the mirror, and see what is revealed to me in that moment. I can also do this by way of touching that part of my body, and experience what is being stored in the spot.

I suppose that each of our bodies are like a road map. We carry our memories where ever we go. We have the ability to call on these memories as a way of teaching us about who we are, or how we are relating to what is before us. It is very individual, we just need to be open to seeing it, feeling it, and recognizing it.

As I write this I am struck by a photo sitting on my dresser. It evokes many feelings within me. It is in an electronic frame, so I am able to change the image at will. In fact, I often change the image, as I don't want to be focused on the same memory just because it happens to be in a frame. I want to see many images, just like I feel many emotions throughout my day or week.

As I sit here, I have been taking short breaks from writing so that my hands can rest on my upper arms. The feeling I get from this is an embrace, which makes me feel safe, and contained. It is comforting, which in turn makes me think of moments in my life when I felt most safe and contained. I can sit here alone, yet feel the memory of a time when I was not alone. I can remember the safety I felt by someones loving arms. I can feel the images of the many people in my life who have occupied this space. They can flash through my mind, and my body, at a pace of my desire. I can slow it down, and I can stop, and rest with the memory of one significant moment.

I look up at the image in the frame. It takes me back to a time of happiness. I can cross my arms, and feel an embrace through my own hands. I have the ability to capture a significant moment. I have the ability to re-experience that moment. I can take a memory, and make it tangible. It brings me peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Change as Opportunity

Originally uploaded by n.elle

Sometimes the best opportunities are the one's we create for ourselves. They don't have to be significant in the minds of others. They don't have to necessarily be a means to and end. They can just be an opportunity to grow, and to see ourselves in a new light.

My current opportunity came by way of self expression. Taking time to listen to my internal stirring has moved me to focus my energy on writing. What moves me emotionally these days is something life changing. The change is nothing I had hoped for, but the change has caused me to look at myself with a renewed self-awareness.

Change is always a potential opportunity. We can fight it, or we can embrace it. Embracing change doesn't mean that I welcome it, or that necessarily encourage it. For me, embracing change means that I accept to recognize it's presence, and that I will face it head on. If it is here, then denying it is of no use to me. I must grow.

The person that I am today is very different from the person I used to be. Does that make sense? I suppose the difference is perspective. I see life differently today. My perspective is less naive. In some ways my experience of life is less stable, less trustworthy. My world's axis has changed. I view everything around me from new angles. It is what it is.

So here is my opportunity. Express my thoughts and feelings. Put them out there for all to see. Let them float around, then come back to me. Do they make sense? I don't know. Do they need to always make sense? Probably not. I just need to hear myself. I just need to see myself. I need to understand who I am becoming.

I'm choosing to take this opportunity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Control room
Originally uploaded by roomman

I would love to have more control, if just for one day. I don't necessarily need a lot of it, and I don't need to have it all the time. I would just like to think that I am getting my fair share of it, of control.

Control is something I have struggled with for many years. I have often been told that I try to control all outcomes, yet get reminded that this is something I have no control of. So what it is the right balance? Why does talk of control always have such a negative connotation?

Maybe we could be given a certain amount of control, and once we are out of it, then we're just shit out of luck. Would this help us manage our sense of control better?
If we had a boss who was just a control freak, couldn't we just ride it out and wait for him or her to lose complete control?

If we have a controlling spouse, would they eventually get their due? And at what point would we recognize that we are more often than not bending to their wishes and desires. Or are we the controlling person in the relationship, always needing to have decisions and ideas go our way. Who exactly has the control here?

What about self-control? Is it not seen as favorable to manage our own behavior or emotions? This is one of the earliest life lessons we want our children to learn, right?

Then there is letting go of control, which is something we strive for in our adult years. By letting go of control we are better able to free ourselves from emotional pain, or patterns of destructive behavior that leads us back to pain.

So what would I do with my fair share of control? I suppose I would prioritize which outcomes are most beneficial, or important, to me. I would ask myself how I would best benefit from the outcome I seek. I would also likely question if I truly knew what the best outcome was. I would hopefully realize that by letting go of the control, I might end up with an outcome that better suits me, that I hadn't even considered.

Easier said than done? Perhaps. What I would like to strive for is a better locus of control. I would like to maintain a healthier perception of my control over those things which I am capable of influencing.

Besides, I would much rather be thought of as influential than controlling. How about you?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Thinking about existence
Originally uploaded by felipeatcubo

I can remember as a child, wondering if the world around me existed solely in my mind. I wondered if each of us had our own perspective, which translated into our reality being significantly different from each others. These types of thoughts would often occupy my mind. They made me question whether the world, and other people, existed for me, or did I exist for them.

I'm not quite sure why I questioned my world so much. Perhaps it was just the egocentricity of a child's development. For a very long time I truly believed that when I walked away from a place I had visited, it would fail to exist until I returned. I guess it is no surprise that I later studied philosophy in college.

This line of thinking is not too far removed from what I learned about the French philosopher René Descartes. Descartes formulated a single principle to prove his existence, "Cogito ergo sum," I think, therefore I am.

From an early age, I have suffered from insomnia. As a child I would lie awake in bed after being tucked in by my parents. I would be very aware that my sibling were all fast asleep, but not I. I could here in a distant room, my parents watching television, or talking together. I would later hear them turning off the lights, moving down the hallway, and settling into bed for the night. Before long I could sense that they too were asleep, and I was left as the sole person awake in our home. The stillness of night would begin to grow around me. Soon I could sense that everyone on our block was asleep, and likely beyond. Once again, my thoughts, my awareness of the quiet world, seem to exist solely for me. Or did I exist solely for it.

I think this created in me a responsibility to keep vigil through the night. What if I dosed off too soon? How would the world manage without someone keeping watch? In much the same was I sit here as an adult, awake far into the night. I now make sure that my own children are tucked in bed, that they are safely asleep. I then stay up, alert, in the event that one of them should wake up and need me.

I know that I exist. Here I sit, thinking, writing. Do I exist for the world, or does it exist for me? Some of life's circumstances have led me to believe the former. Just when I begin thinking that the world exist for me, an important part of my world is taken away. Once again I am left alone in the quiet stillness of night, keeping vigil.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deep Thought

Originally uploaded by jonmatthew photography

When we find ourselves in deep thought, we are almost in a trance-like state. An example of this is when on a long drive. We are supposed to remain focused on the road, but as the images fly by us, our mind becomes aware of the surrounding images. These images begin to frame our perspective. As a consequence of this widened trance-like experience, there can be a momentary lack of clarity as to where we begin, and where the moving images end.

While the stated example usually happens in a matter of seconds, and we are fortunately rattled back into reality. It can serve to illustrate to us how being mindful of ourselves, our body and it's sensations, is only the beginning process of meditation. We also need to acknowledge the images that surround us, that beg for our attention. Rather than see these as distractions, we need to accept their presence in a non-judgemental way. Only when we are able to do this are we able to free up our mind.

This process can be helpful in so many ways. Of course it is the beginning practice of meditation, but it can also be applied to other circumstances as well. Think about trying to listen to a friend amidst other noises or conversations. If we work too hard to just hear our friend, we can then become so frustrated with the distractions that we forget what we were doing. By allowing the distractions to enter our consciousness, we acknowledge it, then return to give our friend our full attention. This slight divergence can be done very quickly.

I guess what I am saying is this, deep thought does not mean having to have rigid walls around it. Deep thought is focused thought, but it is also fluid.