We have so much good news for you — stay tuned for information on our 26th year and our rebirth of TTC, with new staff, new trainings, workshops, retreats, and most importantly circles. May this year be a better year for everyone, for all your loved ones, for you, for the planet, for our country and the world. Compassion for self and others, and service to something greater, and acceptance and being here now…. being present with what is, and taking positive taking action where we can – these are the truly satisfying ways to live.
So, Valentines Day… On this day, more than anything I urge you (and me) to fall in love with yourself. To be your own beloved. It takes embracing all of who we are — worts and all. Here’s the truth about me. I fall apart regularly, and just like the weather, I go through a pattern… I do my best but niggling thoughts creep up over time — guilt, ugly self talk, frustration, loss of self control and I begin to beat myself up and feel all dark and twisty – I know I’m heading for a big cry… I can feel it coming like rain. So, I start to tell my people the truth… the truth I’d only tell those who really love and know me for all my seasons…then I start to cry, hopefully before I begin to lash out, but I do that too… it’s the pain and pressure building up inside me… I’m sure I’m not alone — you must understand this pattern because it’s so human. But I feel I’m the only one who does it at that point… and I should be locked away so I don’t hurt anyone… But, I have my people, and I talk with them and I cry it out as I tell my truth, the truth I’m ashamed of and know that I don’t really mean sometimes… sometimes I just feel so bad I don’t think it’s going to go away. But after enough times of getting it off my chest, it’s like I’ve been renewed. I often feel embarrassed that I had to go through it all again, but I have to live with that as well. But I come back and remember who I am… I begin to feel I’m that bigger self, the Linda who loves herself and accepts what is happening in my life, and gets back on the horse and keeps going. The humor of it all starts to come back. In fact, with my daughters, I can be in the middle of crying about it all and burst out laughing with them at the absurdity, the cosmic joke of it all…but the realities we live with are not a joke… they’re life and death, and old age, and aging parents, and parents with Alzheimers and financial issues, and stresses beyond stresses… and world situations we can do nothing about but watch as they go down, powerless… and causes that bring up so much passion we almost become dangerous. Life is simply LIFE… just like the Buddha says… BUT, I believe each phase of this way I go through life is an essential part of the spiral of growing onward in time and space. And the way I do it may be more dramatic than some folks, but it brings me back to health. After all the orgiastic feelings, I come back to treating myself better and others better, apologizing for anyone I may have injured when I was down and hurting, and doing my best to be the best I can be all over again. Once again, I have gained more perspective, forgiven myself and forgiven others for being human. And then, laughter and hope and positivity return.
I don’t know how we do it without each other — We people carry so much love and grief and pain, and disappointment, loss, fear… — I don’t know how we carry on as care givers for our aging parents, friends, ourselves without people who just sit and hold us and listen to us when we need to lose it and feel it all out. There is no “OK” or “happy” we get to live in, like some advertisements would like us to believe — they are simply moments we might find of relief and joy, but it’s always going to come back to chop wood, carry water, hold our dying parents and feed our hungry children and work to “save” the world — it’s going to always be an inside job to live with the ebb and flow of real life and real emotions and the real things we are grappling with inside. So, we just have to accept that that is just plain good enough and keep on keeping on.
WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH AS WE ARE. We must keep remembering that. And keep remembering that we are so much bigger than the small thoughts we have about ourselves, the ways we put ourselves down… we all do it. We must forgive the mistakes we make — the less than good enough times when we treat others poorly because we feel poor of spirit. All we can do is what Maya Angelous told me – forgive ourselves and ask for forgiveness from others. Relationships are not simple, but good ones are those that keep forgiving us our trespasses, as we forgive others for theirs. Right? Relationships give us a chance to hold each other’s worst and best in a wholeness much bigger and more human than we even know. ,
So happy Valentine’s Day… may your best relationships be those who truly love you as you are and are willing to stay in the ring, to sit in the fire, to go through it all, knowing that we are all everything… and that we are imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Until the day we die, we are worthy of love. And love is much bigger than hearts and flowers on Valentines day.
Love, linda & the whole TTC family.