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That Nasty Covid Breakup

man in face mask kissing hand

Did you recently breakup? Did people ask if it had anything to do with covid? Perhaps you shrugged with your blank face and said:” maybe! I don’t know.” People looked back at you quizingly hoping that you let out at least one juicy secret about your ex.

But we both know that you know. No breakup occurs out of thin air, even the ones that seem like they do; well lets just check under that rug shall we?

Im not going to discuss my own recent breakup over this blog post, I think it deserves a few insightful chapters in my glorious book. But no really, I just have some more realistic discernment on the matter, now, let’s get back under that dirty rug.

The Infamous Relationship Rug

As soon as we start a relationship with somebody we buy a metaphorical rug whether we know it or not. It’s a beautiful piece. Imagine a baby blue hand sewn Persian carpet lined with traces of hope and passion and high expectation. You place that rug under your clean feet and start loving and arguing on top of it. Truth is that most of us have to go through some dysfunctional relationships before we get to the gooey healthy ones. So in our dysfunctional relationships we start tucking little problems under the rug very early on.

We secretly think our partner is perfect on some level in the beginning, and my kind of perfect is definitely absolutely different from what you perceive as such. Slowly and unfortunately, as we start falling off those pedestals, we crash into arguments that seem petty. Those silly issues are the first to usually go under that fresh new carpet. What follows are the things you don’t want to deal with, and the questions you have left unanswered about yourself and them. Dysfunctional attachment gets stronger, and our own troubles and demons grow. We might deal with some, that’s granted. The problems however that we choose not to handle pile up and they begin to trip us even when we think nothing is wrong. Call it turning a blind eye.

The Trouble with Dealing with Our Issues

Let’s establish this irrevocable truth:

TO BE REMOTELY CAPABLE OF REAL LOVE FOR OTHERS 
WE MUST LOVE OURSELVES FIRST.

No amount of lovers in the world will convince me of my own worth if I am incapable of feeling it alone. No amount of kind words, kisses and love making will allow me to accept that I am lovable if I firmly believe that I am not worthy of love. Harsh! but real and tested and true.

So we find ourselves stumbling into the breakup of something we once really appreciated and cherished. Reasons may vary like night and day but something always remains, the fear(s).

Breakups are horrible experiences for both parties in a dying relationship, those who choose to leave and those who get left behind. It is the worst!

I will take some liberties in listing some high ranking fears you may have before, during or after the breakup, IF you are not a robot.

The fear of:

  • Abandonment
  • Judgement
  • Being alone…FOREVER
  • Being wrong/ flawed/ imperfect
  • Failure

….and so many more

We cannot really know how good or bad something is for us. The relationship and its breakup were probably both good and bad. Brain tease, I know! But if we consider that most things in life can teach us something then we will put a lot more effort and attention into dealing with our own issues than trying to fix a dysfunctional relationship. We have fears that keep us hidden, and we choose to turn that blind eye sometimes way too often to avoid facing those fears.

So no! Covid probably was NOT the cause of your breakup or that of the neighbors. Being around each other with no distraction, with nothing between you both but that relationship rug will bring all existing issues to your attention.

Just saying, worth a thought.

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When Your Budding Romance Shows its Teeth

You find yourself plastered in front of your TV. She blinks twice and he slams his body into hers as he then releases his grip and gives her one of the gentlest kisses to ever be featured on screen. Damn, I think to myself, love looks so glamorous in movies. They portray two lovers longing for each other, each overcoming a series of challenges to find their way once and for all into the arms of the other. They then remain in a sultry heaven-like love lock for their days on end. BEAUTIFUL.

But, slightly FALSE too.

Love is gentle and it is beautiful but we are not deities or angels who do not falter. Surely, a budding romance does make us feel that way, we even believe it for the first couple of months maybe even years. We can all love the God image of our lovers, but can we love their human one?

Have you ever noticed the moment you realize that your love interest is human after all? Not in the mental or physical sense, but in that they suddenly become real, and you can see them not just through lust’s eye but through your human lens as well. The experience doesn’t always look the same and sometimes we simply don’t notice it. It goes something like this: “Something’s changed, you (or I) have changed”. The other person then responds, “but what happened? I didn’t do anything. The reply:”Exactly.”

Nothing happened, but something has changed. What do we do then?

There are options and people behave in different ways when this happens. Especially when nothing has effectively changed but our perception of one another. And so we look at the person and we suddenly see flaws, some big and some meaningless, maybe a red flag waves high, maybe we plant it there to tell ourselves one thing: THE SPARK IS GONE.

It is absolutely normal to not register who the human in front of you is for a while when you have placed them on a marvelous pedestal. You see them from a distance, you place every hope on them and they keep on getting higher in your mind. Then time happens, or a mundane situation has them plummet from that pedestal and into your lap. You suddenly look at the human and their beauty, but you cannot help but notice the weight of their thoughts, and their feelings, their behaviors, their pasts and their futures. That is where you decide if you are willing to help them with their burdens, if those are worth it or not. You are not obliged in any way to over extend yourself or to try and build their pedestal all over again. You get to see them for who they really are; some good some bad, some roughness and some pain.

Some people cannot tolerate the come down, and so they leave before it happens or as it happens. Others understand that the process is mutual. Love is a seed in a budding relationship. You could toss the seed away if you find that you expected a tropical garden and all they could give you was a sun flower. Or you could cultivate a dream half way through, that is if you both liked each other as humans, and shared some basic values, laughter, some good music and a genuine attitude.

We prefer to stick to our ideas of how things should be, but we cannot expect others to buy in on our takes. The God image of our significant other is the love image we keep on painting. It is not limited to our opinions when we first meet, but if we can incorporate their real image with how we choose to see them in a healthy way, we could be incredible together. The person we love is better than most but not the best there is. The person we choose in his/her many forms is malleable capable of growth; mirroring our own openness and flexibility. No body should fit into a mold we force them into; and we must not create the mold in the first place.

The pedestal breaks and we find that the holy love we chose to romance is just a person after all. Just a person who is capable of love and support, a person with eccentricities and funny glitches. The beautiful thing about this however is that You Are Too.

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The Love That Loses

Do you ever think about your past loves, your ex(s)? Do you wish you could say something to them now? Do you ever wonder how it is even possible not to feel the slightest attraction to somebody you once considered heaven sent? Our hearts beat on and on but not for the same people….until they do…or do they?

Remember the tears and the open wounds of breaking up with them? Is there a person who comes to mind as you read this? A person who for some reason no body else compared to, neither when you were together nor when you left. This is a post about love, not the kind that wins but the love that loses. This kind of love lived and thrived but it had no means to continue, and with its end came hindsight and lessons; this love showed us what we wanted, how we wanted it and why. The only problem was that we did not want that love with those who were giving it to us, and us to them.

This is a post for the people we loved beyond everything and above everyone for some time. Despite the reasons and the clear ends to the days we shared, something remains; a sense of familiarity and gratitude.

Ariana Grande said it, but it ought to be said here too. Thank You. And then the next one came, and the one after and after until today. The love we thought broke and shattered whatever was left, seemed to come together again in another form, less rigid and wiser.

What is the most humane way to let past loves go?

Forgive, learn and appreciate the experience. Appreciate the love that was shared, the care that was exchanged and the words that somehow extinguished fears of that time. Think about the pain but don’t expect something in return. Pain comes and goes and nobody gets rewarded externally for living through it. Pain allows itself the highest honor in our memories of past loves; which is why when we think about past relationships we can think of little else other than the hurt we experienced and hurled back. To let go we must first let go of the pain and then permit the rest to stay. Let the pain go, but keep the love and sculpt it in a way that suits you today.

We are who we are today as lovers because of the experiences we shared and unfortunately because of the pain too. So greet your ex in the street if you see them and if you can still find the love for them somewhere inside. Greet your ex if they made you better in one way or another and if the time you shared together brought you out of some darkness and into some light.

We do not do life and love alone. We live and we love with others until we all teach each other lessons both painful and joyful. Life must be brought out on the good side of things. So don’t stay in that dull tunnel of regret and blame, look up and find your way out broken and bruised but with one hell of a heart beat.

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What Do We Do When We Can’t Love Ourselves Today?

Here goes a rather difficult confession I and maybe you need to make to yourself.

Self love is easy to write about, all you need to do is put nice sounding words one after the other and fool your reader into thinking that its as easy as skimming through those observations and adopting them.

The truth is that self love is hard to teach, but easy to describe. Our brains can agree that self love is important, they could even encourage the pursuit by following orders, making an effort and simply saying that you have found self love. Then a negative thought comes creeping, hidden amongst a group of well meaning criticisms. The negative thought just like a positive one acts like a seed, one that could grow in the right environment. And slowly sometimes without our intentional attention the thought festers and makes friends with one or more of our insecurities, it hides itself under a positive change agenda and the roller coaster begins.

The point of this is not to tell you how to practice self love because to each his/her own ways, methods and skills. Self love looks different to each one of us. Sometimes it is allowing ourselves those weaknesses and self proclaimed defeats only to see that we are never perfect. What we can aim for during those moments of shattered emotions or confusing thoughts is forgiveness. Sometimes we have to learn to like ourselves before we learn how to love.

So in this space I allow myself to look at the cracks within me, and you to see yours. We piece together what we see fit to carry on, learning and leaning on the faith that we can and ought to get better. We are so flooded lately with self love, self help, body acceptance, and every sort of thoughtful trend; which is absolutely incredible but also sometimes unfortunately quite difficult. How can you still hurt yourself although you are surrounded by so many trends of love and acceptance? Well, you can, and that’s OK if you acknowledge how it makes you feel.

It really trickles down to two big buckets that we get to throw over our heads at the end of each day. Think of them as bucket (a for angel dust) which contains all of the magic water that allows me to become better today than I was yesterday, and bucket (b) which contains the equally magic water that keeps me set in my painful old ways. Except I will not tell you to shower yourself with bucket (a) daily. Sometimes my friends, a good splash of bucket (b for bull sh*t) reminds us of why we chose to become better. And after that sh*t shower we just dry ourselves up with a towel and call it a night. Tomorrow we can try again. And slowly we might get some of (a) and some (b), until we become more capable of paying attention to ourselves and our thoughts.

So whether you feel the love or not, what matters really is that you have that purpose of love for you and others; and with purpose my dear reader comes discipline, and with discipline comes achievement.

Some days it helps that we take it easy and find a mellow place to like ourselves, LOVE comes later; it always does.

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Having A Bad Day With a Person You Love? This Will Help

Sometimes the people we love the most are those who are capable of inflicting the highest level of damage on us. Sometimes, we are capable of hurting the people we love the most just as much. So where do we go in the cycle of hurt and damage that ironically enough has love at its epicenter?

1 We can choose to build walls, that’s a popular option. Completely remove ourselves from any interaction that resembles intimacy; we nurture our own loneliness and participate in it.

2 We can choose to ignore the hurt we inflict, and only notice that which we receive; hence becoming the victims.

3 A third option is to give reasons to those who love us, but never let ourselves off the hook. And so we create a distorted idea about ourselves, where we become the person who sadly says: ” I don’t think i deserve love, because everyone who comes near me ends up hurt.”

So it is difficult to navigate our relationships and ourselves under such complicated terms. We create stories about others, about ourselves and the world we live in only to get through the days where nothing makes sense. Perhaps this story we tell ourselves today might help fix it all.

What if we can find a way around this cycle? One which can include all the love, some pain and a foundation in truth.

First things first, we as humans are capable of hurt, under the wrong circumstance with the wrong people, and the wrong time of day we could be the villains in somebody’s story. So nobody is perfect.

What if we try to accept that hurt is relative? Obviously the feeling is the same, but the intention behind it can differ. That one major aspect is what makes the biggest difference; INTENT.

You see, if somebody loves us, appreciates and cares for us, their aim is never to “hurt” us. And if we know for sure that there is more hurt in the intent, than there is love, then we ought to walk away. So it is a clear line that we must determine under observation, communication and professional help if necessary. Never keep around people who are worse for you than they are good.

Then and more importantly is how we carry ourselves, how we intend to interact with those we care about. Are you trying to inflict hurt upon that person? IF so, then you deserve the boot as much as anybody else. We are not separate from others and we are not better, but we could be more aware of our own behaviors around others.

Pain is inevitable in many occasions, life without pain without suffering without some degree of harshness becomes diluted with a sense of false control. Obviously we do not seek that kind of bitterness in our lives, but when confronted with it, we can acknowledge it for what it is, try to learn something and move on.

Those who love us will try their best to help us, as we would those we love. People have different ways, different attitudes and varying levels of ego that tells them how to show love and how to display intent. So sometimes, we clash with the ways of others, as they may clash with our own. But as long as we clearly and undoubtedly feel the love we find ways to come together, communicate our differences and try to become better together.

Learn your limits, understand how you prefer to be shown love and reciprocate, not only in your own methods but in the ways that others want to feel that same love.

Complicated? Perhaps, now and forever.

But totally worth it; because really who wants to have a bad day with a person they love?

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Where is Your Love House located? Passion Street or Dead Street?

Are you seeing someone? Do you have a person you like to hold a little bit longer? Do they give you reasons to wake up in the morning and help you through the dark of the night? We all love LOVE, and I’ve discussed that before in my “How bad are you at love” post. Love grows and flourishes and you glide through it, until you hit a wall, one that was being built every time you lied, or every time they told you that they were a little tired for that talk yet again. And then you look up and more walls surround you. What now?

You find yourself wanting to break out of the hug a little sooner, and you fall through the darkness of the night all by yourself wondering where you had gone wrong. The dark intensifies and your heart beats faster wanting to find the answer, and run back into comfort’s loving arms.

Who doesn’t want it all? Who refuses the joys and blissful moments that life sends our way? Nobody. I agree.

So why do we put conditions over the mundane, over the ordinariness of life? Why do we become so strange around love that has become normal and underwhelming? You see, the difference between the passionate crazy love that we experience in the initial stages of our romantic relationships and the love that loses the heat but remains soft and sweet is US. We simply stopped looking at our partners with new eyes. We have grown accustomed to their faces and their bodies, their minds and their dreams. And many times, when our eyes get bored, our brains go into overdrive and into a self correcting process that wants to shut down the system, restart and refresh. We become so caught up in the “loss of love” and we forget to wash our eyes and look again at our lives and at our loves and really see them for what they are; structures of our own construction. The life and the love we build are like a house, one that we get to live in as long as we want. And if we don’t remember that we were the original builders, we will think that we can no longer get out, or that we can no longer fix the broken roof we are living under.

We start getting weak, we invite people to look at our broken houses, asking them if they think they could or should be fixed. We ask them if they would live in such a house; as though we have no responsibility for the damage; as though it was done unto us. What we could do instead is admit that the walls are moldy and check if we can fix it together.

We all get to see love from one angle or the other. We can only really immerse ourselves in it when we recognize our signatures over the walls and the paths into each others lives.

This post really is about telling you my dearest friend, that love grows and changes, and we cannot expect it to stay in the same house we built it in the beginning. We can get creative, and outspoken, we can break all the walls and recreate the space we share; we can do so much before we walk away. And if we must walk away, then we better know really well that love is inside us to begin with; if our house is empty of love, then maybe we are empty.

So let’s feed ourselves all the love and the beauty and the sex; let’s read, travel and meditate on the incredible way life treats us. But let’s also not forget that we are the builders, the movers, and the shakers of every relationship we have; be it with family, friends or lovers. Love lives inside of us and the bigger it is, the free-er we should allow it to be, then we can give more, and there will be less walls surrounding us.

Love doesn’t diminish with time, but we definitely change; so we must let love change with us and transform.

Until next time,

Be the love <3

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Marriage Material

A lot of the things that I want to say about getting married are being waved away by congratulating people. They dismiss the process and its Ok. Perhaps the experience isn’t as deep as I think it is, but perhaps the experience should be taken to its limits because nothing lived marginally in life is worthwhile; sometimes full immersion is the better bet.

So surely congrats are in order, but also some major dramatic text must follow; knowing me.

The Good old rant

I close my eyes and I can hear the voice of Alan Watts, mixed with the voice of one wedding planner. One is telling me that nothing really matters, as long as you remain true to yourself, and the other is telling me this is the most important and defining time of your life. Nothing will ever be the same again. So you need to add flowers and light, and hang angels from the ceilings, or else; doom.

Except this is the third piece of dramatic text I have written, and it still feels too awkward to write; let alone share. Usually my words flow seamlessly, they come out un-calculated and relevant. Most of the times I feel like I’m making sense. Now I don’t.

I’m not making a lot of sense because despite everything, and despite my ability to withstand and accept and embrace imperfections, I cannot let this be imperfect.

I’m not making sense because statistics make me uncomfortable and the odds are not to my favor. I care about marriage and divorce world averages, and I also know how fickle human beings are.

I’m not making sense because teamwork takes effort, and a lot of time I like to do my work alone. Because I pride myself on being nauseatingly diplomatic, but also stubborn in my methods.

I’m not making sense because I could be dramatic and inconvenient, my moods will upset and undermine others’ feelings if left uncensored.

There is so much that doesn’t make sense, and I suppose will not. There is so much intertwined in one person’s struggle, so how do you navigate another person’s?

The Awareness that something isn’t right

My ego gets weirdly awakened when I write those things: Labeling and victimizing, assuming and judging. A recipe for disaster. So, the alarm must go off. Something must be uncovered because our egos are never right.

The Transformation mentality kicks in

I always felt an instant reward, a cognitive rush from turning something abstract into something meaningful for me, and for others. Transformation is beautiful, turning one thing into something else naturally is a very rewarding experience.

So I stop myself here, and I try to recalibrate my thoughts, perhaps lining them in a different way will smoothen out the transformation. Perhaps removing myself from fear, control and dreadful stress will open up my sight.

Shifting into marriage is a transformation; a brilliant one. Making a choice that one person versus everyone else is the partner you want to do life with is breathtaking. Literally.

In transforming material from one state to another, a lot is lost; and that explains the feelings of sorrow one develops. But with loss comes novelty and the space is created for new material to become what it must. So being aware of always leaving space for ourselves and for the other is incremental to reach higher levels of happiness.

So who are we in standing in the way of transformation that is natural in every way possible?

There is love and hope in our unison, and there is space for struggle, the singular kind and the compounded one. We build together what we must, and we let go of forced living. One must learn to be free continuously, and if we keep on learning; then marriage must be the space where people learn how to free themselves and each other. It must be the space for people to work against fixed cultures and dive into creating better quality of life for themselves and those that surround them. I think that is the purpose of picking a partner: growth, creation and soft nourishment of each other’s unabashedly brave spirits.