What Human Experience?


I watched an interview this morning that blew me away. His name was Vishen Lakhiani and he spoke of a new way to think. My mind did a hard-brake redirect when I heard him say something I’d heard countless times before:

“We are souls having a human experience.”

My immediate thought was “No“.

No, we’re not, that’s the problem.

We’ve learned to surround ourselves with things that numb our ability to experience being human. We have Facebook and Twitter, alcohol, cigarettes, shopping, drugs, busy-ness and the always favorite chasing of the mighty dollar. We don’t take the time to experience most of what life has for us because that shit hurts.

So the wonderful brains we have that are made to keep us safe and pain free take advantage of all the numbing agents available.  We keep our faces on our phones, our computers, in our glasses and keep busy tallying the bottom line. We punch a clock, make ends meet, dream of the weekend and spend it dreading Monday.

What a horrifying waste of living.

He spoke of a new way of goal-setting, a very personal approach. Three questions to ask ourselves. What experiences to we want to have? How do we need to grow to have those? When all is said and done, how can we give back to the world as this wonderful, authentic, full of life individual we’ve become? A bit paraphrased, but you get the gist of it.

We need to re-humanize ourselves.

All we have is now, and we spend it worried and anxious. What got us here won’t get us there. How can we be more present now? Have fun with what’s happening now and enjoy ourselves? What are we grateful for no matter what our minds are telling us we don’t have?

I think we need to lose the things we use to numb us to our experiences of our lives. What do we believe, what are we doing, what are we giving? How can we make our lives more creative and fun? What can we do to make our lives more passionate, giving and loving?

We focus so much on ourselves when we could honor our souls by sending it outward on who we can serve, uplift, teach and comfort. Every spark we light in another’s heart causes a bonfire in our own.

We have the capacity for more than we are offering to the world.

We don’t know when the silken thread of our lives will be cut. We have a limited amount of moments to enjoy, offer kindness, show compassion and leave the world better for our having been here.

Lay all the bullshit down, my friends. There is no short cut to living an awe-inspiring life.

There is no app for that.

I love you.

Killing Time


We can do very little to change the amount of time we’re given here. I’ve carried this awareness with me consistently over the past few years and have made radical changes in my life to address the areas where my efforts and past beliefs were bearing no fruit.

I’m learning to expect more from myself and less of others.

I’ve been on my own for about two years now, and I’ve chosen not to get into a romantic relationship because it is critical to me to bring my best self to the table. The relationships I see around me are (mostly) the kind I do not want to replicate in my own life and I knew if I didn’t do my own work I would end up the same way. The interesting thing about that is when I adjusted the way I communicated, it changed in all my relationships across the board.

The common denominator in all my relationships is me.

There is a failure to communicate effectively between male and female, but our habits bleed all over our friendships and familial connections too. We don’t lean towards keeping things honest, simple and clear. We don’t ask questions to clarify. We don’t offer open minds or a willingness to understand the other side. We seem to be so locked in to what we “should” have, how we “should” be treated and how things “should” be that we neglect to see the possibility that we haven’t achieved those standards in our own behavior.

We whine when others cross boundaries we haven’t drawn for ourselves.

What is it about the word “romance” that causes two people to pretend to be who they aren’t to end up with someone they don’t like, respect or have time for? Honest and mutual compromise is not the same as being a chameleon to love the one you’re with at the moment. We end up with all the cliches men and women say about each other because we’re not bringing out the best in each other, we’re just miserable perpetuating the myth of “romance”.

Hell, we don’t even know what that is at that point.

What if we worked harder on ourselves than we did trying to make the other guy comply? What if we respect ourselves enough to be honest about what we want and ask that question of our partner of choice? What if we quit the filtering and game playing and rule imposing and enjoyed them instead?

What if we quit expecting more of others than we demand of ourselves?

We are not worth any more than we’re willing to offer. We are in no way superior to who we choose to spend time with, and when we begin to think we are we’re just full of shit and setting everyone up for misery.

I have it on good authority that when we overlook disrespect or (god forbid) any kind of abuse, we are giving our permission. I’ve also learned that presenting yourself as other than you really are, feel or believe means you are a living lie. It’s not honest to adjust yourself to a life that doesn’t align with who you are to make someone else happy. I know this, I’ve done it.

It’s fatal to any relationship worth having.

I’ve played a lot of roles, some of them for a long time. None of them made me happy or productive long term. I didn’t make my dreams come true or anyone else’s for that matter. I’ve learned the difference between living alone and being lonely.

Somewhere out there are people like me who enjoy sometimes odd and intense conversations, writing, plays, music, puppies and laughing till they cry. We will bond over books and bonfires, philosophy and making a difference to those we meet along the way.

I’m good with holding out for that.

I think we spend too much of our lives killing time. Waiting for this insignificant bullshit thing or that. Don’t you think we were born for more than pretending and filtered living? Aren’t we all worth more than settling or placating or doing our duty? It’s ridiculous what we do to ourselves and each other over a lifetime. It’s sad and unnecessary.

We label each other, we generalize and we withhold from the world what we have to offer by doing so. We cheat each other out of genuine fulfillment. We throw who we are under the bus so we don’t have to be “alone”.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe not.

Something to think about.

 

Repeat Offender


She was certain

when they spoke

of her

(albeit lovingly)

they thought her

foolish,

but it did not

sway her.

They shook their heads

in dismay

wincing as she

lept

from one ledge

to another,

clinging to the edges

at times,

with the occasional

plummet

into an epic fail.

They whispered among

themselves

of her folly as she climbed

(always one more time)

and shouted for her

to stay

where she was.

But she paid them

no heed

and ran,

her eyes fierce,

to the next vision

that summoned her.

They could not see

what burned

inside her,

they could not know

that she had to climb,

had to jump

and fall,

had no choice

but to throw her arms

open to the world

and fly

heart first

into the possibility

of reaching

those she needed,

those who needed her.

The truth seekers

and soul-shaken

called to her;

she was on fire

for those

who had forgotten how

to believe.

They begged her

to reconsider,

to be rational and wise.

They urged her

with logic

and reason

and reminders

of her past

tragedies,

but she had seen

hell

and could not

bear to leave any

behind.

So she carried

hope back

with her,

emptying her heart

and her pockets,

bleeding from the

backlash and debris

of bitterness

cynicism

and sorrow.

As those who

loved her

watched

in fascinated horror,

she would return

from a sea of damage

holding the hand

of only one survivor,

and for a moment

they saw in her

a kind of joy

that left them

without words,

until she turned

(just one more time)

and began to

climb.

 

 

 

 

911


Sometimes it is

misplaced pride

and ego

that causes us

to reject

a helping hand

when it is

offered.

Sometimes it is fear

that keeps us

hiding

in the shadows

hoping

that no one notices

we are foolish enough

to need it.

Help can come

in a quiet way

and we never know

from whence it came.

Other times

it appears with great

fanfare

and pomposity

in a manner that leaves

us shamed

and instead of

gratitude

our hearts grow cold

with our refusal.

I can tell you,

there are those times

we know

in the pit of our gut,

burned indelibly

into our minds,

that we cannot afford

to let the slate

be wiped clean.

We know

that we must balance

the scales inside

for ourselves

or be doomed to

repeat

the hated lesson.

It may be

that we finally

recognize

a behavior in

ourselves,

a chronic repetition

of over-giving,

a re-creation of events

that leave us

hollow.

Perhaps it took us

so long to see

that our efforts

were merely enabling,

leaving both

the giver

and the other

weaker

than before.

It is in those moments

of awareness

that we must stand

alone,

feel the consequences

of our actions,

put the sweat and tears

to work

in a better way,

find a more

loving act of

giving

that fills both hearts

with no depletion

to either.

Only then can we grow

stronger from

the injury,

absorbing the teaching

of our experiences

as we were meant

to do.

And when we finally

fight our way

through

the hell we set aflame

with our own

matches,

we honor those

who loved us

enough

to let us mend

our own bones,

gather our shredded

self-esteem,

and heal ourselves

whole again.

 

 

 

More Than Breathing


There are consequences

for every action

or lack thereof.

Every negative thought,

word and deed

impacts our world,

affects others,

can be injurious to

ourselves.

There is no impunity

for negligence,

no amnesty given

when we fail

to participate in

our own lives.

Nature abhors a void

and will fill it

in our absence

as if we did not exist

at all.

We are here,

each of us to offer

who we are

and what we hold

inside

to this place,

this time

to those who are

troubled,

hurting and

afraid.

We are here,

not to get what we can,

but to give

what we have,

share who we are

and in some

not so small way

carry

each other

home.

 

 

In The Beginning


And then they began

to speak softly,

honestly

to each other

with a kindness

that made the truth

a gift and not

a weapon.

They were moved

to share

the things that

chased them

in their dreams,

the alone

that has no

words.

They learned

to hold each other

without

holding back

and began to heal

the hearts they

shared.

Respect and human

dignity

were held

sacrosanct in every

interaction,

and in this world

they created

for themselves

they became

impervious to

the inhumanity

of the way

the earth moved

beneath them.

Thus they gave life,

no less than

the flight,

the fall

and the story of creation

to an exalted way

of living and

loving.

 

Strangers


We guard our boundaries,

build our walls,

protecting ourselves

in the time between

our first

and last breaths

from the very thing

that would

save us.

Most of us

are not taught

to speak

or live from

the center of ourselves

and so we

fail each other

in a lonely

endless sorrow of

pretense.

We wear masks,

quoting appropriate

dialogues

and give each other

the required

space necessary

to suffocate

our souls.

Words of love

with action lacking,

compassion for

the faceless

world

feeds our ego,

protecting us from

intimacy, empathy

and risk of

vulnerability

to the one

before us.

We hold within us

both fear

and longing

of being known

and understood as we

truly are,

we filter our pictures,

edit our words,

dilute our passions

and cry out

only in silence

with our face lifted

to the night sky,

that no one

really knows us

at all.

 

The Becoming


When you finally find me,

and you will,

I will have become

the woman

you seek…

You will have become

the one I have

called in

to stand with me

when all else

falls.

When you look for me

in the eyes

of those you meet

you will not

hesitate

to pass them by

on your way

to who you know

I am.

In the same way

I will sift

the false from the true

in all who come

before you.

When you find me,

I will know you

by the scars

I carry.

I will recognize

the light of battle

in your eyes

no matter the color

of them.

I will hear

in your heart beat

the rhythm

of my own.

There will be

peace

and fire

the likes of which

this world

has never seen.

And love.

Always.

When you find me.

Alchemy


She began to sift

through the ashes

left behind

in the smoldering

destruction

of her perceptions…

She neither rushed nor

faltered

from the heat that

blistered

her fingertips

as she carefully saved

every lesson

she needed to become

whole…

The pieces of her

that she saved

were at times so small

that she wondered

if they held

any value in

the weight of them…

But she persevered

in the face of

much distress

and as her fragments

grew in number

they began

to seek each other,

an alchemy of sorts

and when she finally

gathered

every sliver worth

saving,

she held

in her hands

a heart much larger

and more beautiful than

the one she had

to offer

before.

Let Her


Since he did not

believe

in magic,

he could not

see her.

He had not learned

to recognize

truth,

so he saw only

one more

lie.

Accustomed to

treachery

and the most primal

of betrayals

he knew only

to do it

first and better

than anyone else.

Perpetuating

his own pain he became

a master

at skillfully

inflicting it with a

bitter glee

that caused his heart

to rot

even more.

In moments of

clarity

he would confess

to his own

destruction and yet

he would make no move

to save himself,

refusing the power

of healing that comes

with being loved.

She saw

the little boy

inside the man

and her mother’s

heart held her

steadfast.

She remained

to the bitter end,

calm and unblinking

as he severed

every bond

that she refused

to break,

pelted her with

his own neurosis,

psychosis and shame

until at last,

unable to turn her

away from him,

he ran.

When all was silent,

at the darkest

part of night,

she finally stood

and quietly closed

the door

behind him.

She let her wounds

bleed themselves

clean,

let her tears

fall inside her,

and kept her heart

open

to someday love

the one

who would

let her.