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.  

 
 
Pictureby Barbara http://www.flickr.com/photos/httppaperwingzblogspotcom/
The best cure for loneliness is to be alone?


Loneliness is a painful state of seeking that which you so crave, that which you so think you need that would put an end to your excruciating existence….


Only loneliness goes unfulfilled by those cravings.  External sources may temporarily soothe the distress of loneliness, but they don’t cure loneliness.  


Loneliness is the need to be present to ourselves.


I am writing about  “loneliness & the cure,”  with the awareness and clarity that come from personal experience with this subject and from healing it at its root.  


Pictureby Clix Renfew http://www.flickr.com/photos/hotsnov07/
What does loneliness feel like? 


For anyone who has never felt loneliness,  one word describes it quite well: 
Torture 


Loneliness feels like emotional torture.


Torture conjures images of suffering.  If loneliness lasts too long it does turn into suffering as it is excruciatingly painful way of feeling.  It isn’t proportional to how many persons are in our life.  Even when others care for us, when we feel lonely it is as if they are ghosts. 


Loneliness is not about being socially isolated.  We are never alone although we may be cut-off from others.  But, others being around us is not the cure to our feelings of loneliness. 


Loneliness is more a state of being although it can appear to also be a mindset.  Since we can always reach out to others, often to others it can seem like we make a choice to be lonely.  But, loneliness is more than an attitude or mental-emotional disposition.  It is a false notion of separation.  

Loneliness is needing our own company.      


Pictureby Mesh31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/panoramad/
Years ago, I remember how painful it was feeling lonely. I was not alone, but it felt as if I was!  I was surrounded by my family, friends, and even a very caring boyfriend.   


My existence was filled with backdrop pain.  I felt unhappy and didn’t realize how powerless I felt.  


I knew I needed peace.  But, I thought peace was attached to my circumstances.  I tried to change others but of course that didn’t work. Changing myself didn’t seem to come fast enough to relieve the pain. That’s how bad or how much pain I felt.  I wanted relief immediately because the pain seemed eternal.  


The pain of loneliness felt like I was in a pitch dark room even when there was daylight.  And when night did come loneliness disturbed my sleep. Tears unexpectedly streamed down my face but crying never relieved my aching feelings.  


I wanted to escape loneliness but any path seemed hopelessly endless. Loneliness didn’t seem optional, but felt like a prominent consuming emptiness.  On better days there were moments I just felt dull rather than numb.  I couldn’t shake off the almost debilitating feelings.  


Loneliness felt like a profound absence.


Loneliness told me to seek someone who would understand me.  I needed to be understood.  Most of all I needed to understand myself.  Only I didn’t realize what I now do.  I needed to be alone.  Only the thought of spending time alone wasn’t exactly enticing when being alone meant such excruciating moments.   


Being alone can seem like the worst thing when you feel lonely.  The idea of embracing loneliness seems to lack compassion.  The sincere truth is that embracing our loneliness is the most compassionate thing we can do for ourselves.    

Pictureby Ozge Gurer Vatandas
The cure is paradoxical?


The cure can be found in being alone.  Only there are some criteria that need to be clear as we set out to spend time alone.  I didn’t know it then, but I can see it with sheer clarity now.  

I needed to listen, be nurturing, gently supportive of myself and to touch myself in every sense.   

I needed TLC.

The T standing for tenderness from myself.  The L, for listening to myself. And C, for caressing myself.  
   

Often we seek that TLC from others, however, it cannot cure what has to come from us.  I’ve come to learn that before we can really love or care for others we have to do it very genuinely for ourselves.  Sometimes it is very challenging because of our upbringing.  We may seek validation from the outside rather than from the inside and so we contradict the very need that uproots loneliness.     


The TLC I needed was me being a very loving mother to myself.  Being tender and gentle to invite myself to be present so I could listen to myself. Listen without evaluating myself.   Being present and tender to suspend judgment of myself.  Listening deeply and fully not to fix or change anything, but just to understand.  Listening with empathy to be tender with my pain.  Being tenderly present to be self-empathic.  


What arose through tender presence and empathic listening was my heart’s natural instinct to caress myself like a mother caresses her child.  At first, I wanted that touch to come from another.  Once I had the courage to fully feel my deep pain, I caressed myself from the inside out and fell asleep.  When I awoke, I was lighter and didn’t feel lonely.  


I was alone but there was freedom in my alone. 


Pictureby Ozge Gurer Gatandas http://www.flickr.com/photos/requiemm/
How I did I know I was cured from loneliness?


When I could be alone or with others and didn’t feel alone.  When I knew I could be there for myself. When I began to enjoy time alone.  


The freedom of alone is priceless.  Being alone but not feeling lonely is freeing and priceless.  Alone I explored my reality and tested the boundaries of life.


The cure is in reconnecting to self as loneliness is about the attention and love that only we can give ourselves.  The root of loneliness is our own absence from our life.  The pain points us to the need to be present to ourselves.


While there are reasons for checking out, fundamentally it is about paying attention to what we’ve neglected to hear.  For me it was about the unsettling turmoil that had me pining peace and affection onto others. Initially, I couldn't find peace because I’d buried my pain so deeply.  Later, I felt so lost because I was so disconnected that I needed solitude to reflect and remember.     


Pictureby Torley http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/
Needed Loneliness?


I needed loneliness to remember that I am never separate from Source.   I needed my own attention and time.  Not just time to heal or discover myself but to embrace life.  


I turned to myself. 


I needed loneliness to rebirth my loving self.  Loneliness was the catalyst that shattered the false notion of separation.  


Having experienced loneliness I’ve come to appreciate the invaluable love of self and others.  I’m more willing to fully give of myself and take no one and nothing for granted.  Thanks to my once lonely heart I understand the preciousness of moments alone and together.  


I am never really alone.  None of us is ever alone.  There may be days when we can feel lonely and alone yet we can choose to remember the truth.  The universal human experience of loneliness is a temporary condition that serves to rehumanize us.  


Once in awhile you and I can remind each other that we are not alone.  
We can always reach out, but we must always reach in!  


During distressful moments, inside there is peace.  We don’t have to battle loneliness.  We just have to be brave and give ourselves attention to feel what is underlying the incessant pain.  


When we do find the bravery to be with loneliness what emerges and remains is the serenity of being.  


Picture
by QuotesEverlasting http://www.flickr.com/photos/quoteseverlasting/

Has feeling lonely reminded you of the preciousness of friends, community and life?


Have you caressed your soul by embracing your lonely heart?


 
 
Pictureby Felipe Tessarolo http://www.flickr.com/photos/playinghappynes/

Romance is 


wonderful until it sours or ends. 


When romance sours, it may seem to cut us off from our inspiration.  We feel like we are in an empty gallery.

When romance ends we may feel bitter and hopeless.  

Romance may leave us crushed but it does not destroy us.  

What destroys us is indifference.  

Indifference is never full of wonder.  

Pictureby Dheepak Ra http://www.flickr.com/photos/baejaar/
It is sad if we become indifferent when romance sours or ends. 

Indifference is existing rather than living.  

Existing without hope is indifference....

Indifference is a crushing bully. 

Beyond existence is living with hope.  

Hope for better days and true romance.

True romance?

True romance isn't eternal but it is wonderous.  

True romance isn't a fantasy of happiness dependent upon on another human being. True romance comes along when we are happy and being loving.  True romance just adds to our life. 

When true romance shows up, it may not last long but it is real.  

While each moment may not be romantic or enjoyable, each moment is real and counts.  


Pictureby Susan Ackeridge http://www.flickr.com/photos/redfoxinict/
What counts? 


What counts is how much love we give and how we give it. 

What counts is how open we are to receiving love. 

What counts is loving ourselves so we can love others. 

What counts is loving others as we love ourselves.  

What counts is how present we are to each moment. 

What counts lies in our unique or true calling. 

Our true calling is to love.  Each of us has a calling of love that manifests uniquely.  

Our non-resistance to love is what allow us to carry out that calling.  

Our non-resistance to Love is what makes each moment count. 


We can choose to unblock ourselves and let love in and let love gush out.  

And we can choose to love once romance fades.  


Beyond romance, life is about finishing what we start.  

Sometimes starting is easy and sometimes it is one of our greatest challenges.  Sometimes we start and find every excuse not to finish. Finishing becomes our greatest challenge.  When we cannot finish what we desire to complete, it is fear. 


For resistance is fear.  We fear what our heart wants us to do.  The great challenge of resisting....


We resist the romance of our calling.... 


Pictureby Caitlin 'Caity' Tobias http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlintobias/
The greater the love, the greater the calling and the resistance.  


Beyond romance and resistance there is a limitless fountain of inspiration that some call a muse.


Resistance can take the form of indifference.  It seduces us to do everything but start and finish...


It logically says there are other priorities.  It says we are eternal beings, so we let "time," become irrelevant!  


We must choose to love now, because our physical existence has a beginning and an end. 


We can resist and anger our muse or we can surrender to the muse romancing us to finish what we started.  


Until then, we let ourselves be romanced by resistance. 


Pictureby black stena http://www.flickr.com/photos/black_stena/
And resistance will romance us over and over til we understand it's purpose.


It will charm us with the intent of outwitting us.  
It distracts us with a quick, easy & cheap fix.  It says it is our ally & voice of reason. 


If we are willing to see resistance for what it is, then we will face the bully within. 


We will realize that we resist the muse by being pushed around by the bully.  


Resistance is measured by how hollow one feels after we give in.  It paralyzes and keeps us from our true love & calling.  It is clever...


Remember resistance is within you!  It is our inner bully. 

Pictureby Cinnamon Funch http://www.flickr.com/photos/cfunch/

But, what happens when romance passes?


Maybe once romance is gone, all that is left is not 
non-resistance but sustainable love. 

  
Sustainable love? 


Love that is free of conditions is sustainable.


Sustainable love is wonderous. 


Pictureby TheHighCalling http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-high-calling/
Wonder lies within. 

Wonder of being...

Being as we are.  As we are we unfold...

Surrendered to the wonder of being....


Being brave to stand up to the bully and surrender to the muse. 


We don't give in or give up.  We surrender to who we are.  


In surrender, we experience who we are.  


Who we are is so full of wonder. 


Being Love is wonderous.


Pictureby TheHighCalling
Wonderous is our journey. 


Journey of courage to love.
Courage to be what we are.
What we are is full of love and wonder.


In wonder what we do is full of love.  Out of love we persist.  We fall and get back up.  


We dance in wonder.  


Wonderous dance of being human.


To be human is to be full of wonder. 


How have you faced the bully within to feel the wonder of being human?


Are you being romanced by your muse or your crushing resistance? 

(The answer lies in how much resistance you feel or how much love you put into your calling)
 
 
Pictureby Chaset Whittemore http://www.flickr.com/photos/33239920@N00/
Can I truly be joyful and fulfilled when there are many around the planet who are suffering?  


I'm not that powerful, all 'I' can do is pray?!? 


All I can do is go about my personal goals and intentions and hope for a better world?!?


Somehow that does not ring true for me.


Like the roots and branches of a tree everything is interconnected on our planet.  Prayer is powerful, but, God also gave us free will.  Free will to create and fulfill....

I think we can feel personally fulfilled in some areas of our lives and still be unfulfilled in spirit.  

Others suffering is not strictly God's jurisdiction because as human beings we have created needless and cruel suffering.     

Being human means I am not untouched by the suffering of others.  I don’t have to be unhappy to share the pain and suffering of others.  And I don’t have to suffer to share in others’ suffering.  

Still, deep joy and sincere fulfillment seem elusive and even trivial being aware of others pain and suffering.  At a core level I feel a mix of feelings because of tragic events around the world.  

Because of my ability to feel I am human.  My ability to feel makes me an empathic and compassionate being.  What a blessing it is to be human and feel!


Pictureby vasse nicola, antoine http://www.flickr.com/photos/vasnic64/
At times some seem untouched or unaffected by the suffering of others. Either way I feel a degree of judgment about the state of affairs of our world.  


Perhaps, it is a false perception and others do care and they simply do not show their feelings or choose not to voice their sentiments over inhumane acts. 


Empathizing on social media about those directly impacted by tragedy doesn’t necessarily mean we are sincerely heartbroken.  Hopefully, posting how much we care, isn't to "get likes," that boosts our ego.  Hopefully, we can do more than make non-lasting statements.  

Sometimes it seems that as long as our loved ones are not touched by violence or cruelties of our world, that “we” can go about our life.  

Perhaps, it is a matter of focus and perspective.  If my focus or perspective is my immediate circle and surroundings, then I can find joy and fulfillment despite suffering outside my circle.  My reality is the immediate reality around me.   It is a reality based on a perspective that isn't all inclusive.  


Pictureby QuotesEverlasting http://www.flickr.com/photos/quoteseverlasting/
So despite the suffering of others around our planet, we should fulfill our goals?  

There is personal fulfillment that may have nothing to do with others.   


It seems possible to reach personal fulfillment irrespective of others suffering.


Even when we care about others suffering at some level we may also believe that we cannot do more.  We wish we could do more, but, realistically we have our own lives.  Maybe we have to choose complacency with inhumanity to maintain sanity in tragic times. 


But, how lasting is personal fulfillment?  


I don’t think that it is very lasting when we are not deeply connected to our heart & spirit.  Our spirit inevitably cares about the collective human experience.  Connected to our heart we feel the pain of humanity and want more than to alleviate it.  

Pictureby valeriobrl @hopersomianonna http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriobr/
How much can we do about the suffering of others?

We can do more than scroll through posts even if it is to repost inspirational quotes. 

We cannot help others if we are barely surviving, right?!?  The rest of the world is not for me to save, I can only save myself?!?

I think we must do our best to take care of our needs and aspirations. But, we cannot forget about serving one another.  Going about our routine, making a living, pursuing dreams, and striving for happiness won't lead to true fulfillment.  


I rather enjoy making pie together and eating it together than to make it alone and eat it by myself!

Afterall, we are all interconnected.  There is at least a little more we can all do to rise above the needless suffering on our planet.  

What more can we do to alleviate suffering on our planet?  

Well, that is something only each of our heart's can answer because it is unique to each of us.  I just know that I believe in the beauty of our humanity and in collective fulfillment.  


Collectively we can do more.  We can collaborate for the well-being of all.  Fulfillment is more lasting when it is for the collective good.   


If we truly believe that we are interconnected, then it means that we must at least care about the heartache of others.  If we feel connected to our heart and others, then we feel our heart ache for the inhumanity near and far.


Pictureby Celestine Chua http://www.flickr.com/photos/celestinechua/
I am no authority or expert.  I am a human being.  I am a womyn with a kind heart and a gentle-loving spirit.  I’m idealistic which may make me come across as ungrounded, yet, I am grounded in truth. 

I’m also visionary.  I envision a planet free of suffering.  I believe at our core we collectively want a just and humane world for all. 
'We’ want to better things for ourselves and others from a place of genuine love.  

Love is the Truth.  Love is all that truly matters.  Love is powerful.  Our power is in our love.  Love is fulfilling.  Love that extends to all is true fulfillment.


Our fulfillment as a collective is in our ability to extend love in its many forms.  Respecting one another and showing real reverence for all life is love.  Regarding others as true extensions of love is life affirming.  


We can reveal our greater humanity not by reaching for personal fulfillment, but rather in service to our collective planet! 

Is your reality encompassing those besides your loved ones?  

What has your fulfillment depended upon so far? 

What does your heart say about fulfillment? 


Picture
by C-Monster http://www.flickr.com/photos/arte/

Shall we make pie? 
;)
 
 
Pictureby Marie-Chantale Turgeon http://www.flickr.com/photos/m-c/
Is social media more interesting than what's around me?


When I was a child routine seemed boring and like a chore.  As I got older I got used to it. Sometimes I’ve welcomed routine as mental break of sorts.  


I'll be honest about routine.  Routines can be an escape.  And routine lacks stimulation.     

Sometimes routine is much of what we do in our modern world.  


Everywhere I turn someone is scrolling through facebook.  It seems a routine practice to go on their when one is bored, needing stimulation or inspiration.


So, do you feel like there is more interesting stuff on social media than around you or in your life?  And if so, could you admit it?


Routines seem to take the wonder out of us.   


Even eating becomes a routine rather than a savory experience.  We take for granted that having a human experience means we get to savor each bite.  Instead of enjoying the richness of flavors and aromas we reduce eating to a routine.  


Routine leaves out the senses.  


When I was a child I enjoyed the yumminess of ice cream....All my senses engaged in every moment.  When I grew up, routine became my way of life.  Get up and go....Go to school, the gym and work.  Go to the grocery store...  Go, go, go.  


No time for just being.  Sometimes too much time healing.  Not enough time feeling, grieving or enjoying the view.  


No time in wonderland....


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

It is known territory.  It is a safe zone.  No risk or novelty to routine.  No divergence or false sense of hope.  


Routine may not be fascinating or fun, but it is enticing to an out of sync human being.


Out of sync with the wonder of being.  Wonder of not knowing and wonder of just knowing.  



Not knowing everything but knowing what matters.  

Knowing that love is all that truly matters.  From deep within knowing love as life itself.  Instinctively knowing something when there is no evidence but that gut feeling.  A gut feeling that if respected illuminates the path from the inside out. 


Intuitively guided without a rigid plan or routine, but by wonder.  Wonder of unexpected or unforeseen steps.  Living in wonder is not just for Alice in Wonderland.  It is not just limited to when I was a child.  I’m still a curious and creative girl at heart, only time is showing on my face and body.  
Thanks to the unexpected I am also wiser.  Wise enough to know that too much routine takes out the wonder of my life. 


Pictureby Marie-Chantale Turgeon http://www.flickr.com/photos/m-c/

Too much routine takes out the wonder of being.  


Being here and not in tomorrowland.   Being here and not in yesterday's world.  



Being curious here and now. 
Curious about what I think I know and what I don't know. 


Afterall, wonder is filled with inquiry!  


Life is this moment full of wonder.  And then the next moment....
 

Life filled with unexpected twists and turns?  


Life full of surprises.  


Surprises are twists and turns.  


Twists and turns are platforms for wonder. 


Wonder in the here.


All there is here.  


Here is all there is.  Yes, time exists because I am not a child anymore nor an old womyn.  But, life is made up of moments.  


We live many moments not routines.  


Pictureby Marcel Trindade http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciscai/
Moments are doorways of wonder.  


Wonder is happiness and great joy. 


Maybe sometimes routine can be full of wonder.  


Routine filled with wonder? 


When I take time to feel the monotony of routine I am blessed.   Blessed by the simplicity of routine.  Blessed to experience mundane as well as extraordinary.  Blessed by being human.  A smile emerges because I am human.     


Smiling I feel happy.  Happy I embrace the moment.  


Maybe routine is the interlude to wonder.  Maybe wonder is in the routine. 


Afterall, routines are moments….  


Pictureby Christopher Wolfe http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopheraw/

Moments noticed or gone?


Moments gone with the wind.  Moments missed....


Missed moments or me unaware?


Unaware I fall into routine. 


Maybe it is routine because I fail to notice the moment.


Fail to notice that life can be like a 'hide and seek' game.  


Only maybe, my routine is to hide and seek instead of being caught up in the playful moments.  


Playful moments when I am surrendered to life.  Surrendered to the wonder of routine?   No, wonder of being human. 


Wondrous dance of being human.


Have you allowed routine to take the wonder of being alive?