Stand By Me


 

 

Is there anything that carries more weight with the human heart than knowing someone exists that has their back no matter what? If there is, I don’t know or acknowledge it. I have lived this long with love and friendships that have been, with a few important exceptions, tepid and surface deep. Those who are the foundation of me know who they are, and I value them above all others.

There is something primal and all encompassing about finding those few rare gems that sparkle in the depths of my heart like a darkly burning sun. They have my back. They will stay no matter what. Nothing of who I am scares them, or deters them from the living and active love they have for me. I can share my weaknesses and pain with them and they are unimpressed with my drivel.

These phenomenal characters feed my soul, and light my way as I struggle to stand and move forward on an as yet undiscovered pathway into my future. They are junk yard dogs willing to break the leash of civilization if need be to ensure my safe passage into unchartered waters. I adore them, and they command my unwavering devotion. They are a powerful few, an irresistible force of loyalty and strength that I will always honor and appreciate.

Those who are still standing when the weeping is over and the inner screaming finally quiets are the ones I will go to the wall to protect and defend from anyone foolish enough to cause them harm. I will burn the building, knock the walls down and help them hide the bodies. I hold no shame for that statement of fact. When I am afraid, and I reach my hand back blindly hoping that I’m not alone, they grip my hand with a resolution that steadies my soul and eases the barbed wire cutting into my heart.

There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these few who save my soul and hold a place of sanity for me when I have no hope of holding onto my own. My heart is a strong and overwhelming thing that I find hard to contain, and I don’t blame those not strong or vested enough in what I can do for them in return to stay the course. I don’t blame them at all, they are numerous and common enough.

But those who stand? Those whose razor sharp minds and diamond cut hearts refuse to budge from the storm I carry with me? Those are the ones who will never stand alone under any circumstance. I will rise as I need to to protect them. Behind, beside or in front of them. What matters to me is that they know they don’t even have to look to know I’m there. It’s a given.

There are many who talk the talk of loyalty and friendship and love. Too many to name. They are as numerous and as distant as the stars in the sky. The only things they illuminate are the shadows of those racing closely behind me as I stumble forward in a fury of change that most would avoid even acknowledging. I embrace these shadows cast by my  personal defenders. They are the real deal, more than talk, no smoke and mirrors when I look to them for truth.

I smile to myself when I hear people talk about loyalty as they’re stepping quietly out the door to prevent actually showing their true colors. I don’t mark them or call them out because they know who they are. They think about me at night when they try to quiet their thoughts before sleep. I smile not because they didn’t stay the course, many don’t. They say they will and are just not made of that substance which will hold up under stress. They show their colors and it bleeds into their silence right before sleep. It bothers them just a little before they slumber.

So yes, I smile.

 

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Go Big, Or Stay At Home


 

What if we quit making things so difficult and just loved each other? What would be so bad about just letting go of the bullshit and loving someone, and letting them love you back? These are the questions that keep me up at night. It astounds me that another human being would not welcome being loved. Why make it hard? Why throw in stupid labels and needless parameters that have nothing at all to do with one person loving another?

I guess the next set of questions would be, if someone does love us and we know it, why would we keep ourselves from treating them with anything but the utmost respect and loyalty? We all know how hard love is to come by. We all say we’re searching for it, long for it, would do anything to find it. Nine times out of ten, it’s right in front of us and we’re ignoring it because it might mean that we have to open our hearts to love someone…

And let them love us back.

What a frightening concept that seems to be. We ask ourselves, “where are all the good ones?” when the real question is “when will we be ready for the good ones?”. The love we seek is hiding from us because we couldn’t handle it right now. We haven’t grown enough yet. We still need to develop our strength and wisdom. If we are not whole and healthy, how in the world can we ask for such a person to come into our lives.

How many times have we heard that we attract what we are? SCARY THOUGHT. I don’t want that, I will tell you straight up. NO. You just let me be for right now, and I’ll grow into a woman the likes of which you have never seen. And those good ones will come out of the woodwork to stand in front of me and everything I ever thought I wanted will be there for me to choose because I am everything I am supposed to be.

If we’re not living, we’re dying. If we’re not growing, we’re stagnating.

It’s time to get over the fairy tale and sink our teeth into something that matters. There is no Prince Charming. There is no Cinderella. Those are just stories to make us see that sweeping ashes is bullshit, mean people suck and if you have balls you can have the life you want. That is all. It’s a guide, not a reality. It’s a lesson to be absorbed, not something crazy to expect out of another human being.

Ask yourself this. Do you really want the perfect person? How in the hell are you going to live up to that? Oh hell no. I don’t want to fake being some perfect woman all the time. Christ, how exhausting. I want someone real, with the guts and courage to be honest and the wisdom to WORK. IT. OUT.

Screw Prince Charming. Give me a person with a spine and attitude. Bring on the honesty and communication. No holding back on the crazy-eyed loyalty that comes from someone who truly has your back in any hard situation. Ground level, gut deep and ferocious.

Yeah, give me that.

If you can’t bring that game, baby…just stay home.

A Time To Grieve


I’m in mourning. I’m grieving the loss of so many things it’s overwhelming to me. I can’t begin to heal yet because they’re everywhere; vicious, to the bone slices that render me powerless to do anything but marvel at my ability to function normally.

I’m ashamed at my lack of self-respect and the unwillingness to cry foul when I’m being belittled. I’m filled with sorrow that I’m willing to minimize the showing of my heart and the sharing of my thoughts to make another more comfortable. I watch my words and the way I phrase things instead of freely communicating.

I’ve been a fraud.

I’ve hidden myself for so long, even I don’t know me. I’ve changed to suit those important to me for whatever reason. I’ve put others first when it was ridiculous and harmful to me to do so. I didn’t say “no” so many times when I should have. I didn’t mark the boundaries to protect my heart and the respect I should have carried for myself there. I let myself down and broke my own heart.

I’m not a beautiful chaotic mess, I am a flaming mass of regret for not learning the lessons sooner. I carry them as bruises on my heart and contusions to my soul. Nobody can help me, no one can heal me, there is not a single person out there who can make me rise like a goddamn phoenix from these smoldering ashes.

I’m going to have to do that shit myself.

I mourn my lack of honesty to myself. I’ve got to tell you the truth here while I’m on a roll. I’m so tired. My heart, soul, spirit and mind are weary from rolling the stone from the mouth of the tomb. I’m tired of allowing myself to be manipulated. Just accepting all the agony I brought upon myself is exhausting. It takes a lot of really hard work and focus to totally destroy your own chances to live and breathe freely.  We all keep peering into the tomb to see if anything comes out. No sign of life yet.

It takes a champion in self-destruction to be successful at this for a lifetime, but I’ve been nothing if not committed to the cause. It makes me shudder to realize I’ve carried some of it here with me. That shit clings. I don’t think anything but the shock of actually seeing myself repeating the unacceptable could have made me aware of the necessity to burn every bit of this out of me. I won’t take any more of this. It will be the death of anything worth having in me.

I mourn the part of me that loves you. The heart of me is cracked and aching from restraining itself from going where it’s not treasured. Even the joy in me weeps from its inability to reach into you and give you some sense of its power. I don’t blame you for not loving me, I just wish you’d been courageous enough to be willing to try.

I’ve learned that love gets labels slapped on it and slid into the appropriate slot to make people more comfortable. It apparently requires documents and promises and other meaningless things to make it some kind of goal worth achieving. It’s not a goal, it’s who you are. Or who you’re not. It’s not a tee shirt or a ring. The paper, the ring and the labels are worthless without the courage to love someone and allowing them to love you back.

All the documentation and diamonds I have will not hold a heart. Only love will. That huge, nameless, label-less love that you’re holding back because it’s just way too big and powerful? That love in there that scares the shit out of you because you’d be throwing yourself on the line? That love that you talk about and write about and sing about? You know, the one that you hide from because it will turn you into more than you’re comfortable with?

That’s the kind of love people will work their asses off to keep alive.

I have that. I feel it. I carry it with me. I will not be careless with my heart again.

But I will be fearless when I give it next.

A Magical Life vs Reality: The Non-Arguement


It seems to me that the people who least believe in magic, are the ones who most want it to be real. Somewhere inside them is a little flame that holds onto the hope that there really are miracles happening in the mundane, that all of us really do have magic in us, that we do have the supernatural power to change the course of our lives and create our own worlds. We breathe air we can’t see, feel love we don’t see, hold dreams within us that are not yet seen, and still we doubt?

Those scientific, physics-minded secret-holders of the light don’t understand that physics and magic are one and the same.

Physics: knowledge of nature, the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force.

I believe in magic. I believe I make it. I believe I can create whatever I want for myself. Not by sitting around in a pink tutu, hugging a teddy bear with my eyes closed, wishing for things to appear. Physics, science, cause and effect, whatever you want to insert here, is my magic wand. Physics teaches us of particles that don’t exist except as probabilities.

And the mind, my love, is a formidable force for magic.

Magic (noun): the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

So apparently my dream of a more beautiful, expansive life, at this time doesn’t exist except as a probability, a possibility. I will use my dream to influence the course of events to move through space and time with such energy and force as to bring them to fruition. That’s physics, and magic.

Magic (adjective): used in magic, or working by magic; having or apparently having supernatural powers. Wonderful;exciting.

So I bring my force and movement and energy into my daily life to create circumstances that are opportunities to create more magic for myself, more wonder, more excitement.

Magic (verb): to move, change, or create by or as if by magic.

What do I need to say here aside from pointing out that someone focused on bringing a dream to fruition may appear to go beyond the realms of possibility. It could appear to be magic. The things they create for themselves began as dreams so tiny and fragile that the reality seems larger than life. The tools they applied to bring these dreams into being are many and varied.

But all are merely tools bending to the power of the magic of the human heart.

Let me be clear to the nay-sayers of magic. The supporters of physics. I agree with you both. I cannot wish for something to be so, and it appear before me like a wish granted by a genie. Yet. But I wield every single law of physics as a weapon of mass construction. They are merely the tools for my magic. The support system of my dreams and desires. They are simply the ingredients I need to mix with what is inside of me to make what I want become real.

There is dark and light in everything.

Our days, our dreams, our hearts, our magic. Even our tool of physics has its light and dark application and result. There is a purpose for them both. The physics and magic, the light and the dark, the dream and the loss. We cannot have one thing without the other. We cannot have magic without the science of physics, and who can study physics without seeing the magic? They are each a phenomenon.

So to those of you who scoff and curl your lip at those of us who live and believe in magic…those who seek us out to alleviate the darkness and the harsh edges…we say this to you…

You’re welcome.

Relationship Apocalypse: The Warning Signs


What are the warning signs of a dying relationship? Why does it seem that only one partner is aware of this impending tragedy? Is this really true, or is it simply that one person chooses to be blind, is comfortable with the way things are for them, and hopes to ride out the discontent of their partner? The equivalent of pulling the sheets up over your head and thinking the monsters can’t see you.

This whole scenario astonishes me.

If someone I love looks at me and says, “It hurts me when you do that.” You can bet your ass I’m not going to be doing whatever that is again. Because that would make me an asshole, which I am not. If my partner looks me in the eye and tells me he needs something from me that I have the power to give him to ease his heart, then that exact thing is what I’ll do. If I learn there is a particular thing I can do that makes my partner feel loved…it’s happening.

It seems simple to me.

But this is not what happens in a lot of relationships, and they are dying by the thousands, even if divorce isn’t mentioned. When one partner prospers at the expense of the other, and has no problem with that..? I have a problem with that. If one has a concern and the other refuses to listen because it is not important to them..? I have a problem with that. If one says quite plainly, “I am unhappy and am telling you this in hopes of repairing us instead of hating what we have”, and the other belittles and dismisses the other…?

I. Have. A. Problem. With. That.

A relationship is a two way street, a collaboration, a joining of two to make a sum greater than. It is not King and servant, Lord and minion, Owner and possession. It is supposed to be two people who mean so much to each other that they both give to the other, building a fortress of unconditional love while doing so. It is the constant pursuit of that ideal for each other, and for themselves.

Do you remember the first time you were in the middle of an argument, and instead of crying and feeling heartbroken you found yourself thinking, “Who the fuck do you think you are?”. I do. Do you recall feeling upset and sorry and ashamed later like you should have had more love to give there, and you didn’t? I do. Do you remember much later actually opening your mouth and saying the words, “Who the fuck do you think you are?”.

I do.

I remember it clearly. Because I felt the first vertebra in my spine solidify in what would eventually become a backbone. I remember it because I shook off the thought of “if I only tried harder”, and decided to burn every single relationship self-help book I’d ever purchased. I decided if I were going to become better, stronger, and more alive, I would do it for me.

Because that’s who deserved my efforts.

This is where I stand. Don’t tell me you don’t know. Don’t be a coward. Just step up and say, “I can’t give you more than two weeks of effort, because it just isn’t important enough to me”. Just admit you want someone to make your life easier without having to do the same in return. Admit that you want to be respected and valued without having to reciprocate. Admit you’re afraid of being alone so whatever you call this is just good enough for you. I say all of this knowing you won’t, because you know if you did…

It would make it easy to leave, and you know it’s hard to do.

This is where we are now. Take a good long look. Frightening to you isn’t it? It should be, because the future that you fear…

I welcome with heart wide open.

A Kingdom Falling: The Flight of She


She walked through her Kingdom smiling, and doing, and caring for others, and making life run smoothly. Everyone thought she was strong, competent, brilliant, funny and kind.

Inside she was just one long silent scream of despair.

She did and said all the right things. She went where she was supposed to, did what everyone else did, and built an entire world with stones of commitment, mortar of guilt, turrets of shame, and surrounded it with a moat guarded by the dragons of WhatEveryBodyElseDoes.

Her burning eyes constantly scanned the horizon for something she could not name.

She had grown tired of the performance and longed for something real, something of value that would give her a reason to wake up in the morning and rise to face the challenges of another day. She didn’t need anyone to come and save her, for God’s sake, she had a King in the castle, and what good had that done her?

She was perfectly capable of saving herself, if she could only believe she was worth the collateral damage.

She knew she could walk across the moat of regret at any time. She could catapult herself over the wall of bullshit. She could tame one of the Dragons and fly him into the sunset. The power was all in her hands.

But she first had to find the belief that she was worth every dream she held closely in her heart.

The hardest thing of all for her to bear, was the knowledge that she herself helped build every wall, reinforced every rule, diminished herself to fit the mold, voluntarily, so that no one would notice she didn’t belong.

She became her own judge, jury, executioner and now held the keys to the dungeon.

After many years of sitting on the ramparts, thinking her thoughts and dreaming her dreams, finally the largest dragon spoke:

“What do you want?”

“Freedom.”

“What do you want?”

“The space and respect to be myself.”

“What do you want?”

“Passion.”

“Even if it’s only your own?”

“Yes. Even then.”

The questions continued long into the night. The questions the dragon asked were horribly hard to hear and painful to answer. He wanted to know why she had stayed so long in a Kingdom that had no room for all that she was. He wanted to know what she was doing to fix her circumstances. He wanted to know why a Queen was behaving like a little mouse skittering out of the way of the brashness, the selfishness, the arrogant anger. He wanted to know why she allowed herself to be manipulated into being a spark when she was in fact a fire of such power she could reduce the entire kingdom to ash if she let herself go.

But the most painful thing he made her see, and admit out loud, was that it all happened with her permission. The hardest thing he made her realize was that she had the power to change her entire life at any time she chose. She had only to make it so.

It made her ashamed…and afraid…and hopeful…and strong.

So she gave it much thought, and pondered it deeply in her heart, and finally stood. She turned to the King, who could not see her, and bid him goodbye. She turned her back on the people who were not hers, and the home she didn’t have, and the dreams that lay in rotted piles.

She turned to the dragon and asked him his name. He bowed his head, slightly, and growled out “Rogue”. She laughed at the appropriateness of that and stroked his face in love and gratitude for the pain he’d caused.

Because she wouldn’t have freed herself without the pain and the harshness of his questions. She would have trudged along in an unutterably defeated life. So she owed him for the pain that set her free.

“How can I repay you?”, she whispered.

“Just ask me.” he answered.

“Ask you what?” she whispered again.

“Ask me to fly you away from the life that is killing you.” He answered, his golden eyes burning.

So she looked him in the eye, and bid him do as she commanded. She hiked her skirts up, and climbed on his back, holding tightly as she leaned over and whispered in his ear…

“Take me where the broken can be beautiful”

And he did.

The Power of One – Every. Single. One.


The forest was dark and a little frightening as she moved around the clearing, gathering everything she needed to begin. She knew her purpose now, and it burned in her; her need to share it with the others almost an anguish in her heart. She knew it would be difficult for most, and sadly, impossible for a few to see and accept the truth that lived inside each of them; but she refused to give in to negativity or hopelessness. What if she was their only chance, their last one?

She began to place the things she’d gathered in the center of the clearing. She carefully stacked them one upon the other; her dreams of making a difference, her wishes for the broken hearts she ran with, her hopes for a kinder way of living, her longing for a network of scarred, yet whole warriors of the spirit to link across the world, the prayers and determination that all souls could be spun into gold, no matter their circumstances.

The sisters of the heart she had found on her journey moved around her, adding theirs to hers in the center as the forest seemed to grow even darker. They danced around each other in silence as they worked, not stopping until the stack of everything they had to offer reached their shoulders, almost blocking them from seeing each other. As their eyes met, they lifted their hands to their hearts and drenched everything with the only thing they had left to give.

Love.

The light within each of them leapt out, igniting the huge stack of Everything They Offered, and it began to smoke and hiss, the flames flaring, growing, running from dreams to wishes to hopes, to leap victoriously up into the blackened night sky. They reached their hands out to each other, holding tightly, as they let their eyes, for one glorious moment, be blinded by all they desired written in flames for the whole world to see. When they heard no sound or movement surrounding them, their eyes met again, flickering with a little hesitance, concern, and a tiny bit of sorrow. She slowly turned away, lifted her head, and froze.

They were everywhere.Just at the edge of the clearing, eyes watching, faces flickering in the firelight. There were others behind them holding back, but not running. She held out her hands in welcome and held her breath.

Then came the first one, cautiously, slowly, carefully protecting the small flame in her hands from being extinguished. She stepped to the fire, pulled her own offerings from her heart and added them to the stack before tossing her light in with the others. The fire danced joyfully, and her eyes ran wild as she dropped to all fours, as her real self ,then turned to motion the others with her head.

Do it.

They came forward, one by one, guarding their lights and dreams and loves. They found the courage to step forward and add them to the fire along with the others. With each act of courage, each dream and light offered, each captured One dropping free to all fours, the fire grew…and grew…and grew…until the power of what they had created illuminated the sky as if lit by the sun, the moon, and every star.

We turned as One and gathered around her, around them; the original warriors of light. We bowed to her and her sisters in the face of their joy and tears, and we knew what could be done with the Power of One, because each one matters.

Each one of us was critical to the fire of change.

Every. Single. One.