Picturebu Jacob Munk-Stander http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacobms/
Is it true, is it me or is it their projection?


Perhaps, it is both, afterall our minds are mirrors to each other. 


Recently, I was bewildered by the experiences with a couple of people in my life.  


I was confused by what was being said, what I know about myself and the history of the relationships. 


When there is incongruence, it is natural to be puzzled.   


This post is about spotting projections & what to do with hostilities that arise from them.  If you want the summary scroll down for the 7 key points. 


In one instance, a friend made a case against me for being "too honest and at the same time not honest enough."   In my friend's perspective- my honesty was essentially impolite.  It was a way to deflect attention from his feelings.  Which is why he tried to gather evidence against me.  In the moment, I remained defenseless as there was nothing to defend.   


I allowed myself time to be with my thoughts and feelings.  I made it a priority to understand what had happened for the sake of the two of us. What was key for me was being aware of my visceral response.  I was picking up his feelings more than he was feeling himself.  I had to recognize what was mine and what wasn't.  


Being honest is a choice.  


I choose to share my deep feelings with those who are able to hold space for me.  With some people like my father, who struggles with being emotionally available,  I do not share my feelings.  It is not that I am dishonest, it is my way of taking care of myself.  When I've shared my emotions, he has often labeled me as 'too sensitive,' which leaves me feeling criticized and my need for empathy goes unmet.  Neither of us wins as my dad gets frustrated with my sensitivity.  


With my friend, it didn't seem that my need for understanding would be met by being emotionally intimate.  My option was still to share my honest thoughts.  His response told me that I shouldn't be so honest.  It implied that I needed to change to accommodate him, so I let him know he wanted a 'watered down version of myself.'  

Honesty is not everyone's cup of tea.  


Pictureby Andrey http://www.flickr.com/photos/insanephotoholic/
Honesty is hard to digest.  

It can trigger hostility. 

That was the case with my sister.  I didn't remain defenseless.  A wound was touched.  I voiced frustration.  I fueled the voice of attack.  The punishment has been hostile silence and having minimal time with my nephew.


It is tremendously challenging to have buttons pushed and to simply let what is said pass through.  


The pass through is not about accepting hostile looks or words, but, recognizing that every hostility or verbal attack is a cover up for deep hurt.  That understanding makes it possible to see the other as a human being who has been deeply hurt- so much that they lash out.  That awareness and understanding puts us on equal footing.  

We've all been hurt -so we can relate.  

Pictureby Sophia Louise http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophiadphotography/
The truth can be uncomfortable, but, it is kind to be honest.  


There was some truth to what my sister said.  I realized later what nerve she struck.  

Honesty is necessary in addressing hurt and projections.  


In some cases being honest is not safe, intuitively, we must assess the situation.  When it is safe to confront, honesty is an act of kindness.  


However, our world has taught us that politeness is better than honesty. Well, choosing politeness is not always kind, as it may avoid the truth.  It says that we think the other is not capable of handling the honest truth.  It is like pretending there is no issue. 


Pretending there is no problem or issue is unkind.  In the long run denying our true feelings is unsustainable.  Tolerance will give out and our true feelings come out.  If we don't express our truth, our body will express it somehow.   We develop a red eye, a sore throat, an itch, our face breaks out, we get a headache, etc. 


While honesty may not be comfortable or easy, it takes less effort than pretending!  Energy must be expended in resisting the truth. 


We are built to tell the truth.  Our body has a visceral response that speaks the truth.  That is how lie detectors work.  Our body is a lie detector. 


Our body experiences relief by being transparent as their is no fiction to uphold.

Pictureby Sara -Rose http://www.flickr.com/photos/oh_darling/

I'm learning the importance of tact when I am honest. 


Tact is vital to honesty.  
Without tact our hand can be bitten even when we've spoken truth. 


I have to be emotionally in tune to respect what is true for me, while expressing it and acknowledging that I have no control over how another responds.  Their response is their choice and about them. 


Sometimes, we just have to remove ourselves from interacting with someone with whom a win seems so challenging.   

It is hard to win when there is little or no emotional awareness. 

Without emotional awareness we are constantly reactive.  Emotional intelligence arises from our emotional awareness. 


Emotional intelligence tells me, if it is safe to voice truth and to say it with tact.  Arguments or power struggles may still arise.  It is wise and kind to disengage power struggles with silence.  Often that stirs anger in the one wanting control as it is a sign of disrespect. 


Silence allows the wisdom of the heart to emerge.  What surfaces is compassion.  Compassion is a basic understanding of the common human experience of hurt.   Understanding self and others is kind.  

Honesty is kind.  Honesty has only one face: truth. 

I strive for honesty, but, I am not perfect.  That is okay, I am human.  I like and accept myself as I am.  

Pictureby BK Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/
To summarize, projections and hostilities can be addressed by  7 key points:


1. Awareness of visceral reactions or our body's lie detector
is key to spotting hurts and projections.

2. Assessing the moment as safe to confront or to simply allow the hostility to pass through is being unresistant to what is.  Amidst turmoil, a space of quiet is kind or we must remove ourselves from aggression. 

3.  Being honest with ourselves is being vulnerable in the moment.  With another it may require space from each other to discern our thoughts and feelings.

4.  Clarity of what is ours and what is theirs, allow us to act according to the truth of the moment.

5. Emotional intelligence allows us to take care of ourselves, assessing when it is safe to be honest and to express it with tact so that the integrity of all involved results in a win. 

6.  Remembering that hostility is a cover up for deep hurt disarms us. 

7.  Honesty is necessary for compassion with self and others.



"You can trust yourself to know what is true for you personally!  Telling the truth will always bring about a sensation of relief because your heart is set free in the moment that you tell the truth (your heart will move forward); even if the truth isn't necessarily something that you perceive as positive.  If you say something that is not the truth for you  personally, your heart is imprisoned in the moment you tell the non-truth (your heart will retreat); and it will bring about a feeling of resistance within you." - Teal Scott

 "Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable,  be honest and transparent anyway." - Mother Theresa
 
 
Pictureby Dave Russo http://www.flickr.com/photos/davezombiee/
We are dishonest to protect ourselves.  


We want to feel safe.

We want to be transparent- it is how we are wired. 


As human beings we conceal what may harm us.  It is that simple.  


No one likes to lie or be lied to.  


We've learned to conceal or be dishonest rather than be transparent to avoid being judged, shamed, and ultimately condemned.  


Out of love I've taken blame since I was a child.  It became my default to take responsibility for what was not mine. I've taken the fall to keep others from having to take responsibility for their hurtful actions.  It is one way my love has expressed itself. For a long time, I let myself be robbed of my joy. 


It is challenging to feel safe in a world that punishes us and makes us wrong for it.   We've been burned for telling our truth.  Womyn throughout history have been burned for expressing their truth living in a male dominated world. 


How can we feel safe to be transparent? 


Pictureby essie http://www.flickr.com/photos/64148767@N00/
The thing is, that being transparent, requires that I feel safe within myself. 


Feeling safe within myself means that no matter what response or reaction I get from others for expressing myself as I am, that I trust I can take care of myself.   


In some ways I have been naive in hoping that others would respond from their heart to my vulnerability.  
Not everyone does or will.  


It is very sad that some of the world can be insensitive to displays of vulnerability.  It is unfortunate that transparency has been made something to avoid and reject.  


Vulnerability and transparency are feminine aspects wanting to be honored. 


The truth is that even when the world does not honor the beauty of vulnerability and transparency, internally we can honor it!


Honoring my truth including my vulnerability as a strength, fosters a sense of safety within.  


As I feel safe within myself, then, the world's reaction matters less.  The more I feel safe within, the less challenging it is to reveal myself. 


Pictureby Virgina Guard Public Affairs http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/
How can we feel safe in a world that often doesn't seem safe? 


The reaction of the world to my vulnerability is out of my control.  


My response in my internal world is how I choose to honor my heart and my whole experience as a human being.  


So long as I have a heart that is wounded, I will experience some degree of hurt.  The world is giving me an opportunity to heal my heart wounds.  


It is inevitable to experience hurt on earth.  If we were heartless, then, perhaps we would not experience any hurts.  


Emotional wounds are just a sign of being human.  Emotional wounding reveals a human whose been through quite a bit of pain.  

As human beings we are all capable of hurting and being hurt.  So there is no point in making a judgment or shaming others for hurting me or others.  

Pictureby Christina Saint Marche http://www.flickr.com/photos/saintmarche/
It takes great bravery to act in alignment with what we feel in our heart.   


It is so easy to run from the feelings by going into thoughts. 


It is so easy to fight our feelings by blaming others.  


It is so easy to hide our feelings by projecting onto others. 


We hide to protect our wounds.  


We can always forgive ourselves for needing to hide.  It just means it was too painful to expose ourselves.  We have our own timing.  Time is our best friend if we are patient.


Time allows us to detach from the intensity of the wound.  

Taking time out of the external world, helps me to have greater clarity so I can learn from my heart wounds.  I learn from both wounds I've caused others and those I perceived brought on by others. 


So when my wounds are are touched, I do my best not to avoid them in some way.  They'll show up again anyway.  Those wounds are old perceptions or stories ready to heal in the present.  Maybe the stories don't have to be retold to heal, but, they do surface to be healed.  



Pictureby Olivia Alcock http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliviaalcock/
While vulnerability is a strength, we still struggle.  


It can be a struggle because confidence is what is valued not doubts. 


Having it together is what is rewarded not coming undone.  


Righting wrongs is justified. 



Forgiveness also reveals vulnerability. 

I can make apologies and accept apologies.  

It is risky to expose wounds!   We would do well in applauding ourselves for being brave to be ourselves.  The world cannot consistently value transparency and vulnerability.  Let's be it anyway.  


The more I honor the hurt, as love in my heart, the more safe I feel to expose myself.  


Protecting myself too often has only led to feeling isolated.  


Protecting ourselves won't create a safe world.  


Safety in the world is not created by speaking our minds without tact.  


Safety is created by exposing our wounds to ourselves and to others. 


Thank goodness we share the world with others.  Some will hurt us to help us heal old wounds.  We will hurt some to help them heal.  When we heal enough, we are more conscious of not causing hurt in the same way. 


It is why we need to build caring networks around us until we unite as true fellow travelers and transformers of our world. 

We are imperfect humans, but love is patient.  

I am reminding myself that 'my love' gives me 'a sense of safety' that allows me to step out into a world that needs so much love.

 
Do you think safety is cultivated from within? 


Is transparency truly possible without a sense of safety within?


What if our wounds keep us from feeling safe -even when we are? 
 
 
Pictureby Jose Manuel Rios Valiente http://www.flickr.com/photos/josemanuelerre/

Unseen but not unfelt. 


Unassuming but not unheard. 


Every stroke a mark of affection. 


Spellbinding? 


i captivate your heart!


i arouse your imagination!


Pictureby Steph Hurst http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephhurst/
Non-excavated find? 


So ready to be expressed.


Undeniably convinced to reveal.  


Willingly unrobed...


Sensual and deep. 


Pictureby cea+ http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/
Flawed and know's it.


Quite honest.  


Enoble grace to animate transformation.



Nurturing harmony.


Subtly powerful yet evocatively bold. 


Provoking the intellect.


Unmasking daringly ... 


Reminding and advocating....
 

Pictureby DannyGetz
Sweet and generous. 


Compassionately divergent. 


A poetic one i am.


Voicing my truth as i evolve...! 


My presence felt in each written line.


You may say i am a voice of Love.


Dedicated to writers of Love and truth!

 
 
Pictureby Neil Carey http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbultitude/
Ever felt invisible and unheard?


I wanted to say so much.


I kept so much to myself.


I denied myself to others.


Others could not understand me.


A muddled voice?


Pictureby Ly. H. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lylo0u/
Others could not hear me or see me.


How could they see me if I was not revealing myself.


How could they know me when I was not vulnerable.


Without knowing the real me, they would leave.... 


Without emotional integrity, they saw me as only sensitive to myself.



No peace or contentment without congruency of my being. 
 

Pictureby Keliah Angelis http://www.flickr.com/photos/60548799@N08/
Wanting to be seen and heard....


Yet, expressing little to avoid criticism....


Seeking approval and acceptance that never filled me long enough.


Unaccepting of myself!?!


Tossed by currents of incessant thoughts and emotional uncertainty...
 

I was a muddled voice...


lost in an uncrowded stage of unconformity.


Afraid to be me?!


Pictureby Patty http://c6.staticflickr.com/1/41/82369509_bff69f03cc.jpg

Until....


tolerance gave out. 


I was no longer willing to tolerate being invisible!


I uncensored my thoughts and took a risk to be judged.


Risked being seen and heard.


Realized that what mattered was accepting myself. 


Acceptance of myself a most precious gift of Love. 


I took a risk to be me.


Loving myself as is, opened me up to love others as they are. 


Never unfelt voice!
                                             
             

Always a felt heart.
Dedicated to the beautiful unheard hearts. 
 
 
Pictureby mizmareck htts://www.flickr.com/photos/missmareck/
I...have a price tag?


Always strings attached.


Always a hidden catch...to "free."


Always "fine print" just too long to read.


Always a price to pay.  


Never quite "free of charge."


Never quite satisfied. 


Never quite accomplished.


Never quite happy. 


Never a statement of true worth.

Pictureby TheHighCalling http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-high-calling/
Oh, what is the price of our happy existence?


Too busy to know....


Too driven to show we've made it.


Too exhausted to show we care.



Too burdened by - having to make a living.



Too sick to enjoy, once we get there...?



It's the cost of a transaction based economy.



Pictureby Steven Depolo http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/

All that would make 'me' happy perfectly packaged and marketed.  The golden box of dream deceit.



Sold on the notion of freedom and happiness. 


Twisted notions of liberty and success. 


Oh, how clear it is now!


The dominant society's notions of success are never free.


Never ending embellished lies.


Pictureby Lefteris Heretakis http://www.flickr.com/photos/heretakis/

So hard to trust in a world of calculated transactions...


So used to -- how it's been....


So consumed by void promises...



So unconsolable to conceive another way...


Pictureby Chris Piascik http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrispiascik/
Oh, don't fool yourself...!


There's a price to pay for mainstream happiness and success.


Oh, yes bitter wake up. 


Our survival depends on an abstract notion.  The pursuit of happiness and success is sold!?



Isn't what makes us happy -- free?


Doesn't true happiness come from love?
 

Isn't love free!?!


Pictureby emily 792872 http://www.flickr.com/photos/53355749@N03/
Isn't happiness a success in today's world?


Oh, perplexing human existence. 

 
I want to understand....


What is my existence really about? 


If it is about Love, then may I love without holding back.  If it is about enjoying my existence, may I live without hesitation.  If it is about making dreams a reality, then may I do so without hurting anyone.  If it is- all this and more, may I have the courage to live the truth of my existence.
 

So far what I know about the truth of my existence is that it isn't necessary to chase dreams or accumulate stuff to love and be happy.     


Pictureby Derrick Nguyen http://www.flickr.com/photos/daclicker/
Oh, cruel bubble bursting reality. 


Chasing dreams keeps the packaged deceit going.  
  

The packaged deceit is an abstract notion.  Nothing more than a piece of paper. 


A piece of paper we hope for and sweat over. 


Servants of a piece of paper?


Burdened by having to 'make a living.' 


Price tag of my existence!?!


Pictureby Jeffrey http://www.flickr.com/photos/jb912/
Goodness all I need for my existence is abundant and free on this planet.  


Yet, I must earn a living?


Earn my living so I can continue to exist. 


Exist to compete with the civilized.


Civilized who wear down mother earth.  Civilized who hoard resources and maim and exterminate....



Maybe it is just about how we distribute what is freely given....



That abstract notion, cannot end suffering nor purchase happiness. 



If we could end suffering with that abstract notion,
wouldn't we have by now?!?


Pictureby Steven Depolo
You care, right?  



If not, what's your price-tag to care? 


You can't pay me to not care!



True freedom cannot be bought.


Truth cannot be bought.  


Faith and God cannot be bought. 


Love cannot be bought. 


Love doesn't have a price tag nor should my existence!


 
 
Pictureby Duchess Flux http://www.flickr.com/photos/47217049@N05/
What is the victory of heartbreak?


Why does our heart seem to break?


Our heart breaks not just because we have loved, but because we had an attachment to that love.


It is natural and part of being a human being.


Sometimes our passage forward appears halted by things we cannot readily discern.  


Old wounds, patterns, and fears of an uncertain future anchor the present in the past or future.  


If we have become well versed in various self-help techniques or tend to overanalyze we won't really understand our heart-break.  I know this has been my experience.  I didn’t always discern my visceral experience.  I made choices that felt less anxiety provoking. 



We naturally want to speed up our healing but we stall it by by not being with what is alive in us, deep hurt.  What was most loving to myself was to simply realize that I needed to work at my heart's pace. 


The truth is that we still move-on, even when it does not seem like it. 


Why?   Life is a powerful force that does not stop.  We simply resist to engage life fully.  Eventually, we get it.  



Pictureby BK Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/
The anchor is:

our needs attached to the beloved we are no longer with. 


Our needs are natural, however, one person cannot meet all our needs, nor is to be expected. 


To release the anchor, we must be emotionally self-aware of the anchor.  


With emotional-awareness what releases the anchor is:


1-  our ability to respond to our needs and 

2-  our choice to let go of outcomes.  


Often easier said than done.  


We have to be honest about what needs we've given up to the beloved or anyone we have experienced heartbreak with.  And be willing to meet our needs.  We are worth the emotional-work. 


We embrace that there is a rupture with our beloved and it may be permanent and it may not. 


We simply take our time to heal and let go of regret or anything that is not loving to our self.  

Our beloved is free to be where they want and need to be and that is how we love them through the rupture. 


Pictureby BK Symphony of Love
Without our awareness, we do not set sail.  


We may obsess about getting get back together and neglect our deeper needs. 


The anchor offers a false sense of security that keeps us from setting sail.  


Life is patiently there wanting us to meet ...


If we can take the focus off our self even a little, we will see that the view is changing.  


Life is happening...


At first, releasing the attachment is the most terrifying thing we may do.  It hurts, so we may anchor again because we have not understood how we attached our needs to the beloved.   I know I've been there. 


Even if we move-on to someone else, we will attach our needs to that new lover.  It is why "moving-on" is not the victory of recovering from a breakup or heartbreak. 


Pictureby BK Symphony of Love
Attaching our needs to one person is a sure way to be unhappy in any relationship.  


We come to expect from them what we need to do for ourselves. 


When we have greater understanding of our attachment then we consciously make a choice to be brave and let go.  


The reward of letting go is that we set sail as the winds shift.  


At first it may be too slow or too fast but that is okay.  We begin to trust the waters of life.  We move along renewed by meeting our needs which is self-loving.


We meet life as is; that is a victory.


The victory of our heart breaking is having loved.  


The victory of recovering from heartbreak isn't just moving-on, but, loving ourselves a little more. 


The victory of moving-on from heartbreak is being free to anchor and set sail at our pace. 


We can anchor in our love and set sail in our deeper love.  


Life is a journey of loving and being loved in the vast ocean of Love.



How do you feel  about your most recent heartbreak?  


What do you think is the victory of your most recent recovery from a breakup? 


Picture
by BK Symphony of Love

Dedicated to the self-broken hearted.
Much love to you
with my whole being

 
 
Pictureby Charisma Jonesford http://www.flickr.com/photos/charismajonesford/
Am I love struck or prone to falling in love?



How do you know you have “fallen in-love”?  


Sometimes it is easy to realize we’ve fallen in love.  Sometimes it takes someone pointing it out.  Other times we are slow to admit we’ve fallen in love.  


The last and most recent time I fell in love, I didn’t realize it until a friend pointed it out.  I was so in love I hadn’t caught myself.  


And the reality of falling in love is that we must catch ourselves whether or not the object of our love reciprocates our love.  This reality is one that often is not emphasized because of the tendency to romanticize falling in love.  Falling in love is a stage we pass through on the way to deeper love. If we can be aware of this reality, then heartbreak becomes less traumatic. It is less traumatic to fall in love when we trust that we can dive deeper in our own love should the object of our love not love us back or have a change of heart and mind.  


Love becomes more graceful when we simply surrender to what we feel.       


So how do we know when we've fallen in love with someone?


The symptoms of falling in love with another: 

  1. Sleeplessness
  2. Daydreaming
  3. Increased energy
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Heart races
  6. Euphoria
  7. Thinking about them often 
  8. Prioritize activities around them
  9. Desire for exclusivity
  10. A sense of uncontrollable passion


This is just a partial list and each symptom does not need to be met to prove we've fallen in love. This is just a snapshot reference (in case you are unsure of how you feel about someone).  It is always advisable to trust yourself and what you feel.  

Pictureby Bomba Rosa http://www.flickr.com/photos/bombarosa/
I know I've fallen in love when I realize that I'm thinking of him during my waking hours and when I can’t fall asleep because I’m thinking of him as well.  One major clue for me that I am falling for someone is that I notice how pleasant the sound of their voice is to me.  Also, I feel prone to daydream a future with them.  And the thought of the next time I will be in their presence is never soon enough. There may not be butterflies in my stomach but there is a sense of greater awe in every moment. 


Each of us comes to know the feeling of falling in love uniquely.  And while falling in love is a personal experience it is also a universal human experience that inspires artists of many genres. 


The universal human experience of falling in love is referred to as a 'fall-in love" because it seems to happen suddenly and unexpectedly.  Like a physical fall, we don’t plan it, it just happens.  The fall isn’t painful as much as mesmerizing.  


Falling in love is a surrender of self.  We surrender self-control which allows us to see the beauty of another.  Our boundaries blur as we aim to please the object of our love.  In truth we fall in love with a reflection of ourselves.  We see the positive qualities in him or her, which are within us. We focus on those positive aspects until we fall from that grace and can see a more complete picture of them.  In essence we give up a bit of ourselves to love them as they are.  


Falling in love is a phase.  The phase passes.  The business industry of romance feeds us that the "in-love" feelings can be lasting.  The truth is that Love is eternal but human romantic love is not always lasting.  In fact, love between couples often does not last because once the in-love phase passes we are still attached to the mesmerizing feelings of being "in love."  Falling in love does not guarantee lasting love.  Love must be cultivated.  It may not be "easy-work" to sustain love, but we must deem 'our' love "worth it."   


Pictureby tamaralvarez
It is not hard to fall in love when our default is surrender.  


However, it can be challenging to fall in love when we cannot let ourselves go.  I know because in my twenties I had control issues that kept me from falling in love. My boyfriend was very good to me but he felt I was trying to control him. We were together just under a decade.  Only, I never truly fell in love. That truth didn’t set me free as much as it scared me.


I avoided men subconsciously and minimized my chances of falling in love. I wanted a love life but I was also scared of it.  I was ambivalent about romantic love because of my upbringing.  And of course when we get burned even once we try to avoid fire that may potentially burn us again. 


I went to psychotherapy for years but along the way told myself that I needed to really love myself first before I could be in a relationship again. My wise therapist at the time suggested working on both at the same time. Initially, I was reluctant, but then realized that I had unsuccessfully tried loving myself even when I wasn't in a romantic relationship.  


Eventually falling in love became easier, only often those romances just as easily ended.  After enough heartbreaks I resisted falling in love. 


Self-love isn't something to be achieved but a continuing journey of expanding into greater depths and heights of love.   


I took a risk with a new boyfriend and allowed myself through trials to be loved and to enjoy some of my time with him.  He taught me by example how to love a little more through his patience and humor.  After a few years,  I realized that the relationship was not going to end in a commitment so out of self-love I concluded our time together.  


The heartbreak wasn't as painful because there had been a previous break-up with him.  We had tried and I also knew in my heart that I would be settling for less than what I wanted.  I wanted a committed partnership not necessarily marriage.  I had wanted us to live together.  Having clarity about what I wanted helped to ease the heartbreak.  Having tried to make the relationship work also helped me to move on quicker.   


I inched closer to a love-affair with myself by putting effort into relationships especially with men.  It is far better to fall in love easily than it is to have a hard time falling in love.  Not being able to fall in love is indicative of our tendency to be imprisoned by our mind. 


Essentially falling in love requires us to release our ego, release control and to surrender to our heart and spirit. 


There are things when it comes to love and relationships that we may change our minds about.  For example, I once wanted to be married and have children.  Subsequently, I wanted a marriage and to adopt children. Then that changed and I didn't want to have or raise children.  So I leave the possibility of changing my mind so long as I am true to my spirit.    

Pictureby tamaralvarez http://www.flickr.com/photos/empiezaporte/
Change is certain but falling in love is inevitable.  It takes greater energy to resist love.  It is more life affirming to allow love to emerge than it is to control our feelings.  


Attempting to control our true feelings compromises our happiness and freedom.  


When we love, we free ourselves just a little more.  Love makes no demands.  Love is the truth that sets us free.  Being free to love is true happiness. 


When we are free, we love no matter what. There is space for anything. We are open and thus inviting of greater love.   


Allowing love is our default.  We are inclined to love.  Once in awhile we may resist love because of unhealed wounds.  Loving heals us.  So long as we are alive, it is worth risking the pain of heartbreak.  If we don't risk, we risk not only loving intensely but living!  Loving intensely is part of the magic of being human.  


While it is magical to fall in love, it is also painful to go through heartbreak. Still, I would rather fall in love and go through any heartbreak than to go through life resisting love's fall.


The truth is that we can fall in love easily when we allow it.  It is after we’ve fallen in love that we have to continue to cultivate the love.  The foundation has to be strong and built mutually.  Love affairs can start quickly and just as quickly end.  Each time we are in intimate-romantic relationships we inch closer to deeper love.   


I'm grateful that I am love struck. 


Pictureby Walter Lim http://www.flickr.com/photos/coolinsights/
The wonderful part of falling in love is experiencing the beautiful feelings that make us feel so alive.
We experience eternity in moments with the object of our love.  


Best of all we experience how wonderful we are as we fall in love with ourselves.  


When I least expected it, I began to fall in love with myself.  


I took notice of myself and I appreciated aspects I had overlooked. Glancing in the mirror I appreciated what I saw.  I caught myself smiling because for the first time I was seeing my physical beauty. 


I appreciated the softness of my skin and the gentleness of my touch.  I noticed the violence and sadness I had once seen in my eyes- gone. Instead, I saw tenderness and kindness reflected back.  


Pictureby Marc Nadal http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcnadalm/
The best way to know we've fallen in love is to be very intimate, honest and courageous to admit the truth about how we feel about someone.  


We do not have to share our feelings with the object of our love, if we don’t want to.  Although often expressing our feelings without inhibiting ourselves is the most freeing and loving thing we can do. 



How prone to falling in love or how avoidant of falling in love are you?


Have you felt the aliveness from your love- affair with yourself?


Have you had a love affair that consumed you and made you glad to be alive?   



If not ---I dare you to risk the safety of your cage for the freedom of uncertainty!!! 



Picture
by BK Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/
 
 
Pictureby Hsiao Ron Cheng http://www.flickr.com/photos/16352113@N00/

Notions of together?

Together and apart

Apart and not quite together

Together but lonely

Lonely but not alone

Never alone yet not united

Hijacked notions of united.



Notions of social cohesion?

Mutuality & solidarity

Communal commitment

Intergroup networks bridging communities

Tribal belonging & group identity  

Hijacked notions of inclusion.



Notions of good deeds?

Philanthropic efforts

Bridging the gap of have-nots

Helping others reach their competent potential

Charity$, fundraising$, donations$

Hijacked notions of altruism.


Pictureby A. Golden http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyewash/
Notions of human equality?


Endowed natural birth rights


Inherent dignity of person 


No rank or status


Uniform access to resources


Hijacked notions of equality.

Pictureby Alan English CPA http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/

Notions of Leadership?


Resourceful


Privilege of leading without coercion or manipulation


Influential, command respect 


Hierarchical knowledge advantage  


Hijacked notions of power.


Pictureby Harlow Heslop http://www.flickr.com/photos/harlowheslop/
Notions of Success?

Accomplishment of dreams & goals 

Freedom to do what you want when you want

Purpose in what you do & meaning in who you are

Accumulation of wealth, fame, comfortable and lavish lifestyles


Hijacked notions of self-realization.


Pictureby William Murphy http://www.flickr.com/photos/infomatique/
Notions of empowered?


Sense of confidence in decision making


Demonstrated self-efficacy and competence


Force for good


Real world impact of reaching one’s greater potential


Hijacked notions of empowerment.


Pictureby Jack's Smirking Revenge http://www.flickr.com/photos/jack_yinzer/

Notions of tolerance?


Acceptance, respect of diversity


Non-violent mediation

Permissive, fair and objective attitude towards others

Sacrificing entrenched beliefs for greater peace 


Hijacked notions of tolerance.



Notions of peaceful coexistence?


Nonaggression of unlike minded


Embracing differences


Conflict avoidance


Non-entitlement mentality 


Hijacked notions of coexistence.


Pictureby Thomas Hawk http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

Hijacked notions of being humane?


Hijacked notions of humanity by the global monoculture!


They infiltrate everything.


Infiltrate our notions of religion, God & spirituality.



Hijack our notions of Oneness.



Hijack our notions of Truth.



Hijack our notions of Love.


Pictureby Thomas Hawk

Our tendency to cooperate subverted by an impersonal abstraction. 


Indoctrinated in profit- consuming fads.  


The fabric of our humanity eroded by a transactional mentality.  


Worshipping that which passes from hand to hand.  
Nothing ever truly contractual. 
'Our word,' rarely a commitment.
So mesmerized by unnatural monied interests.  

Don’t give in to the cult of global monoculture.  
To give in is to stay stuck in the dream within the dream. 
Be boldly grounded in truth.  
Stay true to LOVE.


Love for humanity!   



 
 
Pictureby Jean Goff http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeangoff/
Being human isn’t captivating?


I want to be more than I am...more than just human.  Or am I just human?


What are humans known for? 


What am "I" known for? 


I want to be known and not forgotten.  I rather not imagine my existence comes to nothing. 


Perhaps it is why some chase fame. 


Maybe we all want to leave a meaningful legacy. 


PictureBy jean Goff http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeangoff/
Wait. 


I don't just accomplish goals and perform good deeds...


I'm not mere flesh and bones whose beauty fades.   


I am full of intricacies. 


How I feel and what I think make me profoundly wonderful to discover.


We can discover each other through our human intricacies. 


We meet, smile, laugh, dance and.... 


Pictureby Luca Pedrotti https://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkless/

Best of all the immensity of our love is captivating. 


You and I touch, not just skin deep, but deep into our being.  Through our skin you and I connect to the warmth of us.   


I can penetrate to the core of you through my eyes.  You can penetrate me through my body.  


We can relinquish it all for love.  



That is the beauty of being alive as a human being.


Being human I experience life.  


A full and vast range of experiences are mine to embrace because I am human!



I am capable of so much and yet vulnerable at the same time. 


Pictureby comeonandorra http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidr_/
Humbling truth!



I seem to forget my true reason for being....



If any legacy is mine, it is to Love. 


Nothing can prevent me from loving or being loved. 



Love is my aroused beginning and end.



Love is my undeniable truth.


Pictureby Olivier Peulen http://www.flickr.com/photos/kazumitsu/

 You and I are freed by love. 


Loving is what is most precious and captivating about being human. 


Love is what I want to be known for.


Love is my legacy forevermore.


Love is what I am devoted to. 


Love is never my enslaver, but it is always my captor  and  I  it's captive!



I pray "i" remain a captive of love.



Why resist my captor who quenches my thirst and fills me with ecstasy?  


Picture
by TheHighCalling http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-high-calling/

How has love captivated you?  

What captivates you about the human experience?

 
 
Pictureby NocturnDragon http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocturndragon/
The unhidden treasure of loneliness is dichotomous?


Loneliness can be hidden from others but not from ourselves.  


The treasure of loneliness may seem hidden to us but it is not.  It is not hard to find the treasure of loneliness.  Finding the treasure of loneliness is easy.  In fact, the treasure can be overlooked. 


What may be challenging is what is done with the treasure.  The wisdom is in how we use the treasure.  It is what we do with the treasure that matters.


There was a time when I could not see the treasure of feeling lonely even when I was right in the middle of it.  


The treasure of loneliness is solitude.  


Solitude is a true treasure necessary for our evolvement and for our creative endeavors.  


In solitude I am able to reflect on my thoughts, beliefs and dreams.  In solitude I am free to create and to complete what I have started.  


In solitude you and I embrace our lonely hearts and humanity.  


My feelings of loneliness persisted until I embraced my lonely heart.  Before that my existence was mostly full of despair and invalidating behaviors.  I needed to hear myself say how much I needed to forgive myself.  I needed to hear my abandoned inner child wanting my attention, patience and tenderness.  I needed to be intimate with myself.    


Pictureby Chris Chabot http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrischabot/
Once I embraced my lonely heart I was able to begin nurturing myself.  In solitude I appreciated the truth of my existence.  And I slowly began to enjoy the dance of life.
 

Being able to enjoy my life expanded my focus and my heart.  I'm more empathic of others struggling with loneliness.  I feel compassion for those experiencing severe loneliness from being disenfranchised members of society.  


The solitude that came from embracing my loneliness has grounded me in my humanity.


I came to value the true treasure of solitude through introspection.  It is through introspection that our lessons are understood.  Understanding is godly because there is no judgment and depends on no one else.  While introspection is solitary it is very intimate and allows us to better connect to others. 


Pictureby BK Symphony of Love http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/
Connecting grounds us to the greatest treasure. The great treasure of our humanity.  Our stories reveal the common themes of our human experience.  We feel greater empathy and compassion when we have experienced similar conditions or situations.  Our shared stories speak of our vulnerability and resiliency as humans.   


Solitude uncovers the truth of our existence if we allow it.  However, sometimes solitude is confused with loneliness, but it is not the same.  


Loneliness can be solitary.  However, solitude doesn't have to be lonely. 


Solitude is a misappraised treasure, often spent unwisely.  Like any treasure it has to be valued to be spent wisely or invested to serve us.  


Refer to previous post entitled "Paradoxical Cure of Loneliness"  to understand more about loneliness.  (July 2016) 


Pictureby Florent Chretien http://www.flickr.com/photos/florent_chretien/
If we do not value solitude it can turn on us.  Our solitude can become a very dark space. 


I became self-destructive in solitude.  I never cut on myself with anything, but I would scratch myself.  I needed to feel equal or greater physical pain.  I was trying to override the emotional pain.  It is how I coped as a child and I reverted to scratching at intervals as an adult.  


I'm grateful for hope kept me from total self-destruction.   I've come a long way and no longer need hurtful coping.    


The dichotomy of solitude is destruction and creation, the dark and light of existence.   


The light side of solitude is a sanctuary.  
In a space of contemplation we can be filled with a subtle energy that aids us to enthusiastically create and complete projects.  The dark side of solitude is a war zone.  In a war zone we energetically self-destruct intentionally or unintentionally.  The effects of war unavoidably ripple all around us.  In the aftermath, the damage is so great we cannot stand ourselves nor can we tolerate others.  


Pictureby William Stanley http://www.flickr.com/photos/135716105@N07/
It is up to us what we do with the treasure of solitude.  The treasure of solitude in this plane of existence comes as time.  Time to come up with ideas, organize projects, create art and ultimately to love.  


Love is and does.  Love isn’t idle, lazy or unproductive with time. 


Solitude can be the birthing space of anything.  In solitude we can choose to not only imagine our dreams but bring them in time to life.  In solitude artists create their wonderful works of art and love.  


In solitude I have recommitted to my personal vision, goals and projects.  I am working diligently on completing the book I’ve started.  I'm focused in my solitude.  I use my time to be in love rather in fear.  It is always a choice between the dark and light of our existence.  


So long as we exist it is an ever transforming process and journey of becoming more aligned with the truth of our existence.


Moments of loneliness can come and go.  They will come up so long as we are human.  For me and you they can be reminders of the treasures within and the value of solitude.  



What are you doing with the treasure of solitude?


How has solitude transformed you?



Dedicated to the disenfranchised and lonely.