Inspired by reflecting on Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle-Melton, and Emily Rosen’s poetry (both are on Facebook)
My daughter has been asking me to take her to Rebounderz, which is an indoor trampoline playground. The connection I’m about to bridge is odd, bear with me; this is my brain in action. Rebound got me thinking over a week ago at this point. This is probably why my head hurts all the time, I stuff so many thoughts in rotation, and release very, very little. Mindfulness and meditation, I think, are the only means that I have been able to calm my brain. Writing is the outlet I have, because talking out loud results in mindless babble, stream of consciousness, that rarely ever has a point…much like this paragraph!
The point.. I wrote yesterday about how love cannot be destroyed; energy persists – hence my proclivity for rebounding. I could not heal, so I sought someone else to heal me. I love to escape my problems, and I love to turn to others to fix them. Inevitably, no one can. Who can fix my problems? (I see one hand raised in my bedroom, as my cat has lost interest in me again) I bridged that connection months ago, and I’ve refused to let myself get into a relationship because of it, which is also harmful – it’s being closed-minded and judgmental of self. It’s also protective – as self respect and dignity (like me) are works in progress!
Frankly, I reached a supernova level of pain. Pain and anger, like love, are energy so I’ve been holding and giving it, in words, actions, and intent. Acceptance, honesty, and humility help me realize this and understand I am flawed, but I am still loved and forgiven. The very act of breathing reminds me (even if my addiction to smoking makes it harder :/).
I’m bi-sexual. I have known I was bisexual since I was in 5th? grade. My first friend in the neighborhood and I loved each other (as much as children do that young!), but I denied her, and she was angry with me for it. I remember the last time I saw her, she was glaring at me, and I did not understand why. I refused to admit my feelings for her, or acknowledge that we were anything more than friends. Everything was secretive, shadowed, and guilty for me.
I was raised in Catholicism – K through 12 of Catholic education. (Please do not for a second think I’m slamming Catholicism, my education and religious roots are what brings me to where I am, and I am grateful for it!)”I am evil” was my old mantra/prayer, due to me not understanding divine love. I denied and feared my very sexuality. I (apparently) deny my very femininity.
Well, what is femininity? I am not sure, as I get too many conflicting messages!
My body is beautiful – including stretch marks from pregnancy, and admittedly, I am overweight. I love my curves, I love my skin, I love my face. My boobs sag, because I have carried four children. I have nursed three. I think my boobs are phenomenal. Boobs are my jam and so are butts. My friends and I joke about our butts (i.e. I do not have one.) Is this sexist? I have no idea! I think that everyone, EVERYONE is beautiful. I would never be so ignorant to cat call someone, but when I see a beautiful person, I will tell them honestly. Beautiful is more than a pretty face. Like Dolores in Westworld, I choose to see the beauty in everything and everyone! Our very sex, our physical attributes, our nature is beautiful and unique. I cannot be you, you cannot be me, and I want to look in the mirror and love myself genuinely, so that I can love you genuinely.
To my confusion about femininity, I was told when I was younger that I dressed “like a man”. Baggy jeans and a band shirt is “man-ish?” or comfortable. An expression of me (*gasp*). Maybe I am wrong, but to me, any human being is beautiful when they are comfortable in their own skin. That definition changes from person to person. There are women who LOVE makeup, and there are women who do not. There are women who style their hair, and there are women who prefer messy buns. I don’t understand the amount of in-fighting, as if beauty is some sort of one-size (or gender)-fits-all competition. Most days, I dress how I feel like dressing, regardless of what my intent is for the day. I’d rather fall in love with someone who sees my yoga pants and band shirts and is equally attracted to me as when I’m in “club gear”
MOST importantly, I’d rather fall in love with someone who can read my words, listen to my thoughts, and think “she is someone I want to know more…” (with the patience to understand stream of consciousness IS my baseline) To me, that is love. Divine love is unconditional, accepting, and unlimited. Should that, then, not apply to myself and everyone I encounter? Boundaries dictate I cannot allow someone to hurt me, but choice dictates that pain, negativity, and anger are choices that all humans make. Assertiveness dictates that I will not allow you to tear me down – as I have done for too long in my life!
If anything, my sexuality and femininity is unexplored territory, I admit. I have been thinking of the idea of polyamory versus monogamy. I have seen some beautiful relationships borne in polyamory AND monogamy. Infidelity is something I have always struggled with, yet I also am keenly aware that no human being could ever make me happy or faithful while I’m hating everything about myself. This is why I have willfully chosen to be very, very careful about relationships. Impulsivity and impatience make me weak. I am aware I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I have a habit of falling and running.
Queue my recent bout of isolation, which is also not conducive to happiness – we are all social creatures, even if solitude is necessary for strength and rebuilding. These conflicts, confusion, and contradictions are why I am writing feverishly again, as it is driving me insane.
What I wrote about my boobs? Imagine the bathtub scene with Richard Gere talking about therapy to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – 4 YEARS of therapy to ACCEPT my frigging body! Quick math, $30/session, 52 sessions/year, 4 years, I have paid over $6,000 to say “I am bisexual, I love my body, I love myself”.
If we’re still sticking with honesty, therapy did not do that, I did. Writing, reading, meditation, mindfulness, music, family, friendship, and love got me there. Therapy is what helped me work away the blockers (and still is.) Therapy helped me connect the dots, patterns, cycles of harmful behavior, choices, and self loathing.
Yoga has taught me that we are all divine, it is the very definition of Namaste – the divine in me sees the divine in you. How, then, can I do such disservice to my divinity and femininity by harming myself with doubt, negativity, dishonesty, fear, and loathing? What about ignorance? I still struggle with harming my body – smoking, poor diet, inconsistent exercise, but I am proud of the improvement – consistently adopting mindfulness, consistently reading positive, inspirational pieces (Thank you to everyone on WP!), continuing to strip away fear to become more open and accepting – to myself and the world around me. In the past few weeks, alone, I can feel how much better of a mother I am becoming, by simply loving and forgiving more. The fear of evil is still gnawing at me, but I am attempting to counter that with positive self-talk, care, love. I have made many, many mis-steps and mistakes on my journey through life, yet I am still here. I feel confident that if I wasn’t supposed to be, I would have died in my sleep last night (working on good sleep is still a challenge, oi!)
Quick tangent – a woman and I both almost bumped into a guy who was on his cell phone clutching a massive teddy bear. I think the immediate reaction would be to judge him “What a fucking jerk, eyes on the road, buddy” right? I didn’t! I thought, jeez, who knows, maybe his kid is in the hospital and he’s checking for updates. He sheepishly smiled and apologized, and I smiled at him and said it happens to us all! We all smiled, and I turned to the woman and said “near teddy bear induced collision” She laughed, I wished her a good night, she smiled and wished me the same. We both went to our cars smiling.
Judgement, fear, hate, negativity are all so harmful, when smiling and sharing a laugh can be a habit that is trained, nurtured, cultivated. That, though, is a path I am just starting and learning. Glennon said “When it becomes hard to love, that is when you must LOVE MORE, LOVE HARDER.” She told me, in her writing, “Love them up, love yourself up”, so I say that to anyone who is kind enough to take the time to read my ramblings!
I am very much a novice at life, and very grateful for it! My humanity is what makes you and I the beauty that paints our world. Thank you for reading, thank you for teaching me, thank you for loving me.