Being Vulnerable to Accept Love

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When we armor up and protect ourselves, we actually shield against the very thing we seek: Love.

By removing the armor, laying down our shields and weapons we open up to receive and give love. In all actuality, the very thing we seek is already within.

Writing, meditation and creative expressions are our windows into the depths of ourselves. We can use them as tools to peek inside to see where we were taught and where we accepted the belief in not-love. The more we break down our own walls, the more we love ourselves and the greater capacity we have to love others.

Loving ourselves more reaps more rewards than looking for someone else to fill the void within. For no matter how much someone else loves us, if we cannot receive their love, it is the same as pouring water onto a rock. When we live behind our castle walls, we block against love and just as the water will flow away from the surface of the rock, we will not be able to receive this beautiful gift that we so desire.

It is by being transparent, vulnerable and open that we can love more fully, more deeply.

If you fear being vulnerable there may be several reasons. If the people in your life attack you for being yourself, then maybe it’s time to find new people with whom you can truly share yourself. Sitting with and immersing oneself within the feeling of vulnerability can also lead it to crest and then diminish. Repeatedly working through the feelings in the way will lead you to your freedom from its grip.

May we all learn to be free of the obstacles that block us from more deeply experiencing love within ourselves, so that we may freely give and receive love both for ourselves and others. 

Namaste.

Photo by Matt Banks at freedigitalphotos.net

How bad is it, really? Attention Seeking Part III

In reading through Parts I and II (one last time) the night before the series was to be published I was struck down by my own question: How bad is it, really, to seek attention? So here we are now, Part III.

In this post, I ask myself and you, the reader, where is the boundary? Here are my thoughts as they unraveled.

Are we all not here on this Earth to learn to be connected, interconnected, interdependent? If we were here to learn how to live independently, then why are there so many people?

Sex, a very basic need, is usually far better with someone else than alone. It is also as a cause for all of the people.

Is the problem then, in the need? As a society, we often turn our backs on those who are considered “needy.” Whether it’s from poverty or from “needing” too much: attention, affection, emotional reinforcement, and (fill in the blank).

It would seem more appropriate and more easily understood to say that my desire is for attention vs saying that I need attention. How strange that when we need something, that its acquisition is more likely to remain elusive. Need implies a lack of a necessity. Desire implies “nice to have.”

Doing a search for quotes regarding attention seeking, I found this:

“The hunger for attention is an enemy of self-love.”
Edmond Mbiaka

I can see how the word hunger makes this a “needy need.” Would the quote be just as true if desire were used instead of hunger, I wonder?

“Seek respect not attention.”
― Ben Bereng

Now this one confuses me, as I thought respect was earned; not sought. Maybe he’s beseeching the seeker to seek for what is “right” vs what is “wrong?”

Perhaps it is my desire for a male companion that can meet me where I am that is unmet, so I seek attention where it is safe? Or better yet, by seeking attention where it is safe, I can avoid the disappointment in still being single? Oh, I feel like such a young grasshopper now. (folding psychology arm-chair up and putting it away)

I’m still very much working through this one and not able to see above the duality. Please share any insights.

Namaste.

Photo by winnond at freedigitalphotos.net

Attention Seeking: Part I
The Fairy Tale of Storybook Romance: Seeking Attention Part II
Now I Begin to See: Attention Seeking Part IV

The Fairy Tale of Storybook Romance: Attention Seeking Part II

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At a young age, girls are sold the dream of happily ever after. We are made to feel that we are incomplete without a man.  Prince Charming saves Cinderella from poverty and her evil stepsisters. Sleeping Beauty is only awakened by the kiss of true love. All live happily ever after. Or do they? (Another post for another day; I believe these tales can be harmful to men, also.)

With New Year’s Eve, I found myself falling prey to the cultural belief that I was incomplete without someone at my side. Feeling broken following the finalization of my divorce and not dating anyone, I found myself desiring male attention. Instead of focusing on all the love around me and within myself, I focused on where it was not. I was puzzled by my own “seeming weakness.” It was easy to become disillusioned and I almost skipped the NYE festivities because of it.

Then the next day, while watching “Lava,” a short-film by Disney’s Pixar, I suddenly saw that my truth was being obscured by my belief in the mythology of happily ever after. Almost immediately, I dropped into the murky waters of my loneliness. Once “down in it,” I found a vast pool of feelings: betrayal, anger, sadness, abandonment and remorse (to name a few).

The waves of repressed emotions washed over, around and through my being. With each ounce of emotion that I felt, I gained a pound of the cure and lost another pound of fat from my waist. The icing on the cake? Filling the wound beds with validation and love.

I sat in the realization that my feelings of emptiness were a lie. Sinking further into gratitude for this awareness, I admired the moment. Enjoying the warmth of my light, no longer insulated by the fairy tale material that I once devoured. I am grateful for this new level of awareness, from such a seemingly innocent short film. One which I have watched, often longingly, for someone to “Lava” for several months now.

I stand alone again, this time, not lonely. I again feel whole and complete in myself. The Dharma wheel will turn once again and bring me back to a spot of loneliness, allowing me to see through the lies I have believed; allowing me to see the truth beneath it all: all that I seek is with-in.

“If you search everywhere, yet cannot find what you are seeking, it is because what you seek is already in your possession.” ― Lao Tzu

Tonglen Meditation: May we all be free of the beliefs that block us from the truth that we are all already whole and complete. May we see ourselves with the eyes of God: We are Love (therefore, we need not seek it in others).

Within days of this new awareness, I can see where I still seek and desire the fairy tale romance and to be swept off of my feet. How tenacious this belief can be!

Post press addendum:

Here are two well-researched posts by fellow blogger, Michael:

What is Ideal Love

Romantic Love: Hearts on Fire

In his posts, above, Michael differentiates the six types of love. These posts helped me to gain a better understanding of where I felt lost in seemingly contradicting desires within myself (and thus this series). Thank you, Michael for your work and allowing me to share it!

Namaste.

Photo by Idea go: freedigitalphotos.net

Attention Seeking: Part I
How bad is it, really? Attention Seeking Part III
Now I Begin to See: Attention Seeking Part IV

Attention Seeking Part I

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It is unceremoniously and without much ado that I share with you my desire for having consistent and continuous male attention. On the surface the attention is physical. Yet it is my deeper desire to be desired by a man who finds me spiritually and intellectually attractive, not just sexually or physically.

After feeling that this post was complete and scheduling its release, I found the following quotes on the blog by Desirable Love, they summarize “my deeper desire.”

It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex; people do it all the time, but opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, and dreams… that’s being naked.
~ Excerpt from Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality, written by Rob Bell

If you can’t get naked, you’ll never know love.
~Desirable Love

This male quest seems elusive. Dating sites bring more weeds than fruit, where so many seek FWB, D2F and those who just want to message and sext. Bars and clubs bring drunken escapades, the risk of STDs and the potential for unwanted sexual encounters. Intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs remain unmet in most of these cases, as well.

So I wear my comfortable clothes, rarely flaunting my figure or physical assets. There’s so much more to me than the physical, yet that seems to be the hook.

Alone in my desires, I often feel despair: it is a lonely place to be most of the time when I allow myself to dwell there. In the silent times I query, are my standards too high? Do I seek for love in the wrong places? Am I just not ready for this, though I long to be?

It can be a challenge to see others so content in their relationships. Yes, it appears that I am indeed “peanut butter and jealous.”Deep down I know this comparison only brings me misery, yet it can be a trip that is a challenge to avoid, particularly around the holidays.

Once I realize that I want to be free of this desire for attention and the jealousy of couples, I sit in stillness. Inside myself, I light a candle. It is the flame of knowledge that what I seek is already present within me. I fill my cup with the validation and love that I seek for externally.

Taking my lesson a step further, I find within the places where I have blocked love. I find places where I invalidate and loathe myself. Filling the open wounds with validation and love, I see again where I have within, that which I seek externally.

In the next part of this series, The Fairy Tale of Storybook Romance: Seeking Attention Part II, I explore another level of awareness related to my desire for male attention. In Part III I ask, How bad is it, really? Attention Seeking Part III. In a post hoc conclusion I share what I learned about myself in the process in Now I Begin to See: Attention Seeking Part IV.

May we all be free of the loneliness that prevails deep within. May we be free to connect with ourselves, especially where we have learned to disconnect. May we free ourselves of the obstacles to our own love, to our own light, to our own infinite value, so that we may each connect more deeply with others without barriers.

Sanskrit Mantra: “Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu”
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

Namaste.

Photo by Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Balance in Life: Theme for 2016

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As I wrote this post, a new realization dawned upon me. In the beginning, I seek balance, by the end, I realize it was always there. I did not edit the content, instead leaving my process intact for the reader to see its evolution. The lesson here seems more to be about already having in my possession that which I seek, more than about balance. Enjoy!

“If you search everywhere, yet cannot find what you are seeking, it is because what you seek is already in your possession.” ― Lao Tzu

Living in balance. Walking the middle path. Choosing moderation. These are the things which I would like to place more focus upon in 2016.

In many ways, 2015 was about building strength and gaining a deeper sense of both independence and interdependence. Through my blog and in my life, I have repeatedly opened myself up, diving more deeply into the waters of vulnerability and uncertainty. By being weak, I have gained more in strength. By revealing myself, I have seen new aspects to appreciate.

Yet, even with the gains I have made in independence and strength, balance has been a challenge for me. I seem to either go full steam ahead, or I become dead in the waters. My life seems to move in spurts and fits or not move at all.

Even in my writing, I can be inconsistent. Often, I find myself writing furiously on the weekends, sometimes unintentionally filling my schedule for the week to follow. Then, when dating, my writing has been the first thing to be sacrificed. Losing my voice in this way seemed to have set me back further in my own spiritual growth.

I could write all day on the ways in which I can bring more balance into my life. The pattern I notice, in stepping back, is that the further I move to one side on the pendulum, the further to the opposite extreme I must move to create balance.

So when I say I’m seeking balance, what I really mean is less movement between the extremes. Nature seeks balance. Balance is already present in my life, now it is up to me to choose the middle path instead of riding extreme pendulum swings.

May we all find and take the middle path when it suits us.

Sanskrit Mantra: Om Ram Ramaya perfect balance energizes my body, mind and spirit

Namaste.

Photo by renjith krishnan at freedigitalphotos.net

Gaining Spiritual Strength

Strength can be defined in many ways. To train strength in the gym, most trainers recommend 8-12 repetitions of an activity. So one could define strength as being able to perform an activity multiple times. Strength can also apply to spirituality.

In becoming more spiritually aware over the past few years, I have found that the same lessons bubble up to the surface repeatedly. While some spiritual advisers would say that this is because I have not learned the lesson, and while I do take some stock in this, I also believe that it is to allow me to strengthen my spiritual muscles.

Another perspective I have on the repeating of lessons is that each lesson has many aspects that need to be seen from different facets. Just as a sun catcher or faceted crystal has many faces to it, catching and reflecting light in different directions, while also casting shadows, our core lessons are the same and show us different aspects of the lesson (as well as ourselves).

Regardless of the lessons we are here to learn, and regardless of how many times the same theme repeats itself, we become stronger in our truths with each flexing of our spiritual muscles. Walking through the shadows and being present with our feelings, our lessons and ourselves allows us to set ourselves free. The courage (spiritual strength) we have is reinforced with each shadow we walk through.

So keep on walking my friends, nothing can last forever. Grow your roots, feel your connection to the earth, then connect with your heart. Feel what you are feeling. Once you move through that shadow, you will experience a peace that is so delicate and sweet. The shadow shows you the path to the light (follow the white rabbit), go down the rabbit hole, that is where you can find your truth.

May we all be filled with the courage to look at our shadows, to discover the truth of our own inner lights.

Namaste.

Photo by Just2shutter at freedigitalphotos.net

Change Takes Courage

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To go forth and be Merry, we first must remove the (seeming) obstacles to our merriment.

It takes courage to look within to see where our lives are not what we would like them to be.

It takes will and courage to make the changes that we need to free ourselves from these obstacles, and to see the truth of who we are: Free.

It takes courage to be who we are here to be, without hiding behind the mask of our fears.

It takes courage to walk through the valley of the shadows of death, but the alternative is staying stuck in the very cycles and thought patterns which no longer serve us.

The reward for this courage? Freedom. Peace. Embracing our very own magnificence.

Photo by Vlado by freedigitalphotos.net

The Calm at the Center

© Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.com

You have to be able to center yourself, to let all of your emotions go. Don’t ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

At the center there is little movement. The stillness is here. The silence is here. The witness sees and hears without holding onto any one thing.

The sounds streak across the sky, leaving vapor trails of paths once traveled. At the center, the visions blur into sounds that clap softly as they buzz by. The sounds are seen and the sights are heard. It all makes sense at the center. Yet,  no-thing is held. It just passes through.

When at the still point in the center, the storm of colors swirl and twirl around dancing about. It is here that the witness sees, experiences and knows. There is a calm here, even with the chaos that abounds just outside its fluid bounds. One micrometer to either side and the effects of the storm can be felt 10-fold. The further from the center, the more the changes in pressure can be felt.

It is easy to be drawn out of the center point. The pain, the suffering, the drama beckon us away from it. The joy, the happiness, the excitement do, also. At the center, nothing and everything is felt. Duality no longer exists. Everything is balanced, as this is where everything is held together. This is a delicate matter to be held at the center. Just like the wind, it cannot be held onto or grasped. It just is.

In the calmness of the center the effects ripple outwards into the ether. Like RADAR, the sound waves move outward and return back to the center. The more calmness that is emitted, the more calmness that returns. It is here at the center that choices return to their maker.

To sit in silence and stillness can be a challenge to do. With practice, the center can be found even in the middle of the hustle and the bustle. To sit in the center can be a challenging thing to do when the myriad things beckon, pulling, tugging, and drawing the focus away from the center.

The center just is. It is the here that the silent witness lives. The witness that is free from all, at the center.

Namaste.

Photo Credit:© Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime.com

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