Our Season Spent Loving
It is amazing how something so simple as setting the mood towards that which is neutral can affect how we interact with those around us. This morning, I spent a few minutes in my garden, drinking my coffee, and listening to my plants, growing how they feel regardless of me. I watched the wasps and butterflies fly from one purple flower to another, harmoniously.
An intricate spiderweb caught my eye, glittering in the light, and for the first time I saw its spider. A medium black color with white spots on its back reminded me of the families of black widows I grew up surrounded by as a child of the South.
My dad had said that they wouldn't bother us if we didn't bother them, and they kept ants from inside the house in the heat. My brother would cry in the driveway if I killed ants, because I was harming living creatures. My mother was likely making something delightful to eat or sewing as it was all happening.
My childhood was enchanting, and something about the little things brings that State of Being back to me. Admiring plants and creatures, or simple acts of necessity like doing the dishes and laundry. It quiets the inner dialogue long enough to simply exist amidst it all. Like meditation, I remember what really matters and how through actual Feelings of Soul, or Memories of Heart.
Then I consciously think. If all of these creatures, slow growing trees, butterflies and bees, feel the neutral balance of acceptance always, what do I get to experience that they don't? Furthermore, if my energy is felt as strongly as I feel it from others I deal with on a daily basis, can I project what I want?
If I feel grateful, joyous and good towards the garden or forest, does it change Us? Does it multiply like vibes do in who we decide to speak to? In HOW we speak? Is how we feel as important as what we share?
11:11 strikes the clock.
It is Saturday and I am still drinking that coffee from the balcony. My neighbor's girlfriend is singing beautifully, and it fills my heart with loving energy. When I saw them in the hall earlier, after my plant realization, I complimented what she was wearing. Because I style for a living, she took it as the highest of compliments and laughed in her gentle way. My neighbor smiled and I pet his Frenchie, wishing them both a good morning. I witnessed how my change in presence, had affected our interaction. All I had done, was focus on what I loved about the moment and spoke of it.
Most especially interesting is the chain of events that led to this realization in how much my singular choice in existing affects those around me.
I live in an old 1920's building, set up perfectly for Charlie Chaplin and his ballerina neighbor. A gypsy cat wanders the neighborhood and it is usually very quiet. A rarity for as big and noisy a city as Los Angeles, Los Feliz is a sweet suburban pocket in a place full of lights. Helicopters encircle sometimes at night, and the smog occasionally covers the skies. Traffic floods the street and it can take significant time to get from point A to B.
I awoke to one neighbor and his girlfriend in their pattern of fighting. He screams obscenities at her, hits things, and she cries over whatever. I pity them, and also I understand them.
The love that they have, keeps them going back together as much as the patterns that made them who they are. Parents who hit or yelled, who come from parents who abuse too. Though it may reduce with intensity in each generation, it is only through those who conquer this, change, and choose to practice a new pattern who actually live a different life going forward.
I used to be her, crying on the floor overwhelmed by what I was dealing with. Life was too hard, and I wasn't understood by the one I loved most. Triggers set off from times when someone made me feel unloved or unsafe. FEAR filled me up, and I broke down. I hated my boyfriend for not loving me the way I needed, but I loved him for all that he was to me, so I stayed instead of leaving.
Until staying became more unbearable than the idea of continuing, and then finally the fighting ended. We simply weren't the things the other person most needed, or wanted. There was someone else who was better now for who we had become. The fights were a symptom of the end of Our Season Spent Loving.
Just as equally, I had been him. Annoyed to no end by someone who wouldn't listen or seemed incapable of understanding me. No matter what I did, it felt more like hitting a wall than being heard, so I exploded. I yelled at her, and sent the same abusive feelings that I'd had felt at me when someone I loved didn't feel heard by me. I hated my girlfriend for not loving me the way I needed, but I loved her for all that she was, so we kept giving it another try.
Ultimately that too had its season and the tides changed. The Ocean of Life shifted, and everything became different. I worked on myself, like fishermen on the shores repairing their nets until they again venture in to The Ocean. I learned where my emotions were coming from, what had triggered them, and how to better deal with them. I undertook a regular practice of meditation, and spent deliberate time in nature.
With people, I addressed the issues most fought about in healthy ways, with others. I paid special attention to the girlfriends and wives, before their boyfriends or husbands. I established boundaries up front with men, showed deep respect to elders and patience to children. I spoke only the kindest words, and focused all my thoughts on the optimistic roads forward. I filtered my social intakes to that which lifts, despite if I am in personal agreement with it. I decided to appreciate the differences that make people better to other human beings, like those practicing religions from a state of generosity in spirit.
And then before I knew it, the people around me changed, as well as the situations. The romantic interests I attracted were more together, grown up and mature. My friends, more successful and wonderful. Those I loved who stayed from before prospered most, because they loved me despite things like title or how fancy was my home. The frenemies disappeared because I vibed so high they couldn't fake the authentic jive.
All because I focused on the positive, and looked towards what I wanted as if it had already happened, and then gave everyone the benefit of the doubt from a place as neutral as the plants in my garden. Because it wasn't my place to judge, when we were all doing our best in this world. It wasn't my right to decide how they lived their lives. All that belonged to me, was how I showed up to other people. What I could control, was what I felt inside and how I expressed myself to others. What I focused on. Whether I was making things better or worse. If what I was saying was making someone else feel good in gratitude or focus on problems in their world.
Practice Makes Perfect
Over and Over Again Forever
This Game of Life is Never Over
So just Buckle Up and Surrender.
I Promise it'll be So Much Better.
Love to you Always,
Whatever form of Spirit you Know
They say people come in to our lives for a reason or a season, and I've quite come to like that notion. It allows for an easier form of connecting, through the Buddhist mentality of impermanence and fluidity. If Suffering is caused only by our own views in lieu of what actually is, and Fear is the Mind-Killer, then it is always up to us to shape our thoughts for the sake of our experience. It is to OUR expense when we are unkind to others in our behaviors. It is OUR loss when we do not give love to those who love us, just as much as it is to our detriment to continue to love a relationship that no longer has legs.
In my experience of love, when it is working, you get past the fighting to the space of discussions over conflicts. When you can't stop fighting, your season has perhaps ended, because you've both changed entirely. With my boyfriend, we simply grew up and apart, and so we graciously separated and went onward in love. To this day we are friends.
With my girlfriend, not so much. No matter how hard I tried to stay gentle and kind, something in our pairing brought out that angry masculine side in me in relationship between us. That part of humanity that we as a culture are still working on healing. The more I wanted to be just friends, the more I felt the anxious cling that I had felt before towards men just before they disappeared, and suddenly I understood what had driven them away. The illusions of obsession, versus the vulnerable strength of honest communications.
Though the reasons were many, they were also one in the same.
Whenever I had wanted someone else above myself, it failed. When I did not act in love towards another, I felt awful about myself. When I did not honor the truth of who someone was choosing to show up as, neither of us was joyful.
But when I behaved as best I could, to all, from person to plant and animal, as if we might die tomorrow so we'd better live our best life NOW, IT ALL CAME TOGETHER. Everything in my life started exploding like rainbow fireworks in all directions. I got a styling gig for a most beautiful human being in town recording her album from New Zealand. I had the opportunity to share in showing the story of someone who knew the difficult road I had traveled, and then some. I believed in myself more because I saw someone else who had already climbed that mountain and was on to the next one. I was shown the light at the end of the tunnel in the moment I was most wishing for guidance.
All because I changed my thinking and speaking to those around me.