I believe with my whole heart that we’re brought into this world for one reason and one reason only. That reason is to love. To be loved, to love in return, to find love, to lose love, to discover love, to miss our chance to love, to revel in love, to despair in love, but above all to be LOVE. It’s not an easy path, being human and knowing love is our purpose, especially when everything tries to bring us away from love. But if we embrace love in all it’s forms, we can know our soul, our God, our purpose.
I was put on a difficult path when I was born. The love that surrounded me came from people who were broken, beaten and bruised by love. I felt that my task in love was to love them back to wholeness. There were people who misunderstood my love, experienced my love by hurting me the way they had been hurt. I know now that they didn’t understand how to love any other way. Their darkness, their pain, their abuse was their way of expressing love. Without me in their life, they would never have known love could be something else. They were a gift to me, just as I was a gift to them. And that kind of love has taught me some of my greatest lessons. The best lesson has been that it is my choice to either live in the darkness, the abuse and the pain–or to rise above it in real LOVE.
My dear friend, someone who loves well, Alisa suggested that I write myself a love letter. To remind myself of the loving things I have accomplished. Her exact instructions were; “Remember all the good times you’ve had with your self. Tell yourself what you appreciate about your self, mention your talents, qualities, anything that makes you smile. Then make some plans for your self. Talk about your aspirations, dreams and hopes for the future. Buy your self something she really can cherish, a lasting reminder of what a great person she is.”
The truth is I always follow Alisa’s instructions because she is a very wise and beautiful woman! So here it goes-
The good times I’ve had; There have been so many good times, it’s hard to pick just a few. I’ve had a really good life. Despite the trauma and losses, my life has been filled with laughter and love. The best times I’ve had has been in making new friends, traveling, and working hard on things I’m passionate about. If I had to pick the top three happiest memories of doing something with just me, they would be; Dancing alone in the street at Valley Junction, visiting Blarney Castle in Ireland, and meditating at Parliament park in London.
My friend Darren and our friend Mike went to Valley Junction years ago. We stumbled upon this street festival with a band playing The Guess Who songs. I wasn’t familiar with their music, and they started playing “Undun”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLMF5GM0Kt8 I got so caught up in the moment, I found myself dancing like no one was watching! I was one of the few people who just started dancing in the street where they were playing- which caused a bunch of other people to join in. I have never felt so free–so carefree really. Nothing and no one mattered, it was just me and the music.
Blarney Castle in Ireland was a revelation. It all came together because I relied on friends and family’s help. I was deployed for Bosnia. As my birthday approached I made tentative plans to take leave and go to Ireland. I didn’t expect that this long held dream of visiting Ireland would come to pass. Getting military leave was difficult, it was going to be expensive, and I’d be doing it alone. Three strikes against me. But my leave came through. A friend had won an airline ticket to London that he gave me which cut the cost in half. With everything conspiring to send me, I decided to go alone. I spent my 30th birthday in Ireland, kissing the Blarney stone. My happiest memory to date is lying on the branch of a tree in the castle grounds. This tree is ancient I’m sure, probably as old as the castle. Several of it’s branches are large enough to hold a full grown person, so I lay on one near the ground and just stared up. It was so peaceful and beautiful–I’ve decided when I die, my ashes should be spread in that exact spot.
More recently I found myself in Victoria park near the Parliament building. I was having an existential crisis, feeling as though I were adrift on the sea of my life. Not sure where to find safe harbor or what would anchor me in my new reality. So I decided to meditate. I had just learned Vedic meditation and thought I might be able to get some answers through it. There is a statue there by Rodin called the Burghers of Calais. I’ve told this story so many times, but it truly inspired me. As I’m looking at this statue, the faces are so hauntingly familiar. I begin to realize the reason they’re so familiar is they are the same faces of the men and women I know who’ve been in combat. When you ask for a sign, don’t be surprised when it comes. I had meditated and asked for a sign. The sign I got was a beautiful poem left at the feet of this haunting statue. That poem, along with the statue, inspired me to write a play. One I hope to get produced very soon.
So there have been some really great times, alone.
Which brings me to my qualities I admire in myself. I’m not perfect, by any means. But I believe in my good qualities and I’m working on the not so good ones. I’m smart, book and street smart. I easily adapt to new situations and keep calm in a crisis. I’m beautiful, in my own way. I have a positive attitude about most things. I’m a great mediator–my greatest skill is being able to see things from all angles and using it to bring people together. I’m an awesome cook. I’m artistic and can translate that into practical things like decor, costumes, words, and photography. I’m a hard worker. If you give me a task to complete, I always do my best and don’t quit until it’s done. I’m capable of great passion, compassion and love. Most importantly I do my best to see the good in everyone and make sure they see it too. I am or have been, a good sister, a good daughter, a good cousin, a good wife, and a great friend. Not always perfect in those roles, but I’m pretty freakin’ awesome!
I have made plans for myself–tomorrow. I’m calling it “Take Back Valentine’s Day”. It’s always been a traumatic anniversary for me that I’ve spent years ignoring. So instead I’m going to start embracing it, for me. I’m going to rise early, take the dogs for their morning walk. Either go to my favorite restaurant for breakfast or come home and make myself breakfast in bed. Then I’m scheduled for a manicure, pedicure, massage and haircut. After that I’ll have a relaxing afternoon watching my favorite romantic movies. Then I’m taking myself out to a murder mystery dinner. Which I’m really excited about!
As far as my future; I still believe it’s possible to find my soulmate. Yes, make fun of me, but I believe in soul mates. I don’t believe and I’m not waiting for someone to complete me. I’m complete as I am. I’m waiting for someone to be better with me and make me better. I’m waiting for someone to make me laugh more than he makes me cry. I want someone to remind me everyday that I’m beautiful, passionate and worthy of honesty. I want someone to dance with. I want someone to cook for and who will do the dishes after the meal. I want to wake up every morning for the rest of my life knowing that the person lying next to me is honest, caring, and thinks of my needs as equal to his own.
So Happy Valentine’s Day to me! Despite being alone, despite going through this messy divorce, and despite it being a traumatic anniversary, I’m going to take it back. Valentine’s Day is going to be for me to show me, how much I love me!