Posted by LeeAnn on February 22nd, 2010 at 01:32pm
This weeks post is a guest entry from Bonnie…
When LeeAnn asked me to write about love for her blog, I wondered what this self-exiled woman who was burned by opening to love would have to contribute to the conversation.
And I knew there had to be something. I am not the only one who has closed her heart or changed the way I’d like to live, because my experience of love was too painful. My blog contribution, then, is not so much for those of us brimming over and on fire with red-hot love as it is for those of us broken down, lovers not willing to give up.
The question for me becomes, how can I trust my own self again to make good choices in regard to love? Or, how can I practice loving myself enough to know I will be safe in making love choices? Or, how can I train myself to love ME so that a pattern of love is set in motion before a relationship begins? You know, be the relationship I’d like to attract? I start small. I take little steps at a time following the energy and guidance of my heart.
When my relationship with my beloved ended, I was more than bruised. I was traumatized. I not only didn’t think love was possible again — I wondered why I’d even bother entertaining the thought of love again….am I crazy??? And, I realized in my heart of hearts, the part of me that has never been hurt or harmed, I will not be satisfied with my life on planet earth if I do not connect with and love deeply and intimately one other being. It is a mandate of my Soul. So, I dust myself off and begin again.
I begin with recognizing a few things I know are True. The experience I had with my beloved was my highest idea of love; and yet it was only what I knew. There is a vast terrain I have not entered and it doesn’t require partnership with another at this point to enter it. Knowing this supplies me with some confidence.
I ask my broken self what I do to nourish my soul, to honor and love ME. I come up with a list with reviving powers:
- I spend time outside daily. The fresh air heals. The sun, the wind, the trees, the cactus, many which existed before I took form and will exist long after I pass are living testament to something within and beyond me.
- I speak as an advocate for myself and I don’t expect anyone else to carry that responsibility for me. I lend my voice to self-care and requests made on my behalf. This past week it looked like asking three times to be added to an e-mail group and when it didn’t happen, asking a friend to post activity for me so I was included.
- I give myself permission to change my mind as an act of love on my behalf. For many decades I took pride in “keeping my word” which meant I made sure I was available for others regardless of my current needs. Now I commit when it serves all, including me, and if I need to change a commitment I don’t see it as a defeat, but as a form of self-care. I have become gracious at un-doing and I make sure I follow through with an official “un-do”.
- I put on the calendar activities my inner little girl enjoys, like movies, reading books, time alone, travel, conversations with friends, painting (which I have NO skill for), guitar picking and ample alone time.
- And, I am digesting Emerson’s work on Self Reliance as my Bible to becoming ME. He says such brilliant things as (paraphrased) trying to be someone else is a form of committing suicide. Radical ideas like each of us are to live our lives as US; given to us for living. As I continue to read biographies, one of my favorite genres, I am aware this can be easier for men than for women given how we were raised.
- I practice feeling it all. I feel the pain in my heart; My feet on the ground; My dogs breath on me as we snuggle; My disappointment in the relationship; And, I realize my feelings are transitory and Love is bigger than and holds within it all of this.
- I listen to others without an agenda. I simply listen. If they ask for my opinion I sit quietly and listen to my heart. If my opinion/experience in any way can support their journey, I will give it. If not, I just say, “I don’t know”. And, that’s enough.
These are my thoughts on courageously loving against all odds during this month of Love. It is the best I can do; and I am doing it. I can’t imagine a greater way of demonstrating love to myself than this.
Bonnie has a blog entitled www.becomingmeblog.com which follows her journey of birthing her Soul as she consciously rises from her own ashes.