I used to believe I was looking for just a couple abstract attributes like intelligence, passion, and abundance in relationships. Looking back, I believe these were often patterns of seeking in another that which I was struggling to cultivate in myself.
Today the following attributes feel important to me for anyone, romantic or otherwise, that I invite into my life through relationship.
Faith (in some form) that looks like beliefs, humility, confidence, self worth, and joy.
Curiosity that looks like learning, growing, openness, analysis, deep listening and communication.
Love that looks like generosity, compassion, caring, kindness, and laughter toward oneself, others, and the world.
Courage that looks like non attachment, adventure, and motive power.
Overall it feels like a revelation to be aware that relationships should be a source, not a drain, of energy in my life.
Where could you create more space for relationships that enrich your life?
Taming the Wild Horse
I have recently been reading a Western academic interpretation of an ancient Daoist text titled, “Taming the Wild Horse.”
Among many fascinating insights and contemplation, today I encountered a discussion on the difference between naturally wild and wild in response to domestication.
It makes me wonder when in my life I am truly natural, intrinsic, and when I am in a certain form of rebellion. I believe the intrinsic wildness is more authentic than the responsive wildness.
Where are you rebeling when you could be engaging more deeply and freely with your intrinsic self?
It is critical to understand the abstract specificity of any situation.
I might believe it takes hard work to graduate from high school... but it actually takes 120 credit hours.
I might wonder how many miles I can wait before changing my oil... but 3,000 miles or 3 months is a precaution not a rule.
I often get too abstract or too specific. Sometimes I even bounce back and forth. The equilibrium between is not perfect, but it's an exceptional guide.
Where could you benefit from finding abstract specificity?
Reluctance to forgive
There have been times over the past few years when I have screamed “Why!?” to the heavens, as a woman I once loved attempted to isolate my daughter from her Dad. It has been unfair, brutal, and transformative.
For many months I have been practicing forgiveness toward my daughter's mom, while still carrying resentment and pain. I kept trying to forgive her for all the little things (refusing to tell me where my daughter lives, ignoring my parenting time, accusing me falsely of myriad wrongdoings, etc.) without forgiving her for the big things.
Truth is she acts against my daughter's interests, broke my heart, and is changing all our lives. Truth is she is not malicious or evil – she is struggling and suffering (just like me).
But the hardest truth to accept is that she set me free.
In order to forgive her for the big things I have to let go of getting it right, making things fair, and understanding what is going on. I have to fall forward into faith.
I resist furiously at times because it means eventually I will be thanking her.
Where are you resisting forgiveness?
Tragic Hero re-purposed
This morning I did a series of meditations, which helped me to explore a part of myself that some call the “tragic hero”. This is my pattern of behavior where I work hard but never quite make it, take on more than I can handle, avoid success in favor of gritty hard work, etc.
In one of my meditations today, it became clear that the Tragic Hero is trying to help by ensuring I remain humble while still getting validated and seen as successful. Thus the interplay between hard work and head down.
What if I knighted the Tragic Hero? What if it were to instead become a Noble Knight? I'm going to try and see what happens.
What parts of yourself or patterns in your life could you elevate somehow into a new purpose?
Abundance and myself
I have long had a practice of observing abundance. In nature. In human love. Even in my own health.
This morning I realized that I am more than a witness to this abundance. I am part of it! The abundance that surrounds me is also within me as I am within it.
What might be possible for you if you not only have abundance, but you realize you are abundance?
Note to self:
You don't have to go to bed hungry at night, but it's best to wake up hungry in the morning.
Every day is a new beginning, no matter the season
This “start anew” feeling seems particular present in my life lately. Perhaps it's because I feel a sense of new beginnings in my life, which I often associate with Springtime, when outside Fall is turning to Winter. Even though it's getting darker and colder outside, my life is becoming warmer and lighter.
Where are you headed in the opposite direction of the seasons? How does a daily new beginning impact the way you experience your environment?
Good morning new life
I once heard of a tradition where a man turns his cup over each night before bed to symbolize death. Each morning the cup is turned rightside up as a signal of a new beginning.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. That's true for you, too. Let's flip this cup rightside up and welcome the new beginning, shall we?
Clarity and Humanity
At times I become rigid. I seek clarity and create boundaries because I feel unsafe and afraid.
At times I become vulnerable. I seek humanity and remove obstacles because I feel faith and hope.
How can you best balance rigidity and vulnerability?