Worthy of Love...
I am worthy of love…
I Am love..
I woke to rain this morning…and the last residues of a layer of slush over the greening fields.
And because it doesn’t rain here frequently, and certainly doesn’t snow, yesterday’s rain and snow has flushed over the land–the dirt roads, the hills, and down into rivers of streams that circle the barns and carve out beds over the pastures, the fields, and what might be considered the lawn, though sheep, goats, and other animals frequently graze its offerings.
A wet day…
One might say a ‘drab’ day, but the green of the grass, the variegated greys of the sky and the dark silhouettes of the old oaks create an atmosphere that’s somehow gentle, tender in its moisture as the stream beds flood down the drive, the roads, and into the fields.
I arrived into all this this morning with the same variegated greys, the same profusion of rush and soft tears–as if a flood gate had been opened, modulated, then carefully closed again…
Love can do this…
Love’s gifts, failures, gratitudes, joys…
We love the joy and euphoria as we find ourselves fusing and coming into alignment with another in our hearts, and energetically in our bodies, as if the Soul were speaking a language all its own–which it is. And then too there’s the pain and suffering, the separation, the breaking apart… the feeling that our heart is being cracked open…torn asunder and shattered in ways we can't comprehend. The personality, the ego, it goes through that–it is part of being human. It is part of learning who we are at a deeper level.
Love. Intimacy. Relationship.
This complex of love and relation has risen like a stitch through the landscape of this journey, through the landscape of the days as I made my way from one state to another, and as I make my way through each day here.
There is the love and affection for T. as he's come and gone, seemingly unable to claim the truth in his heart, the knowing of his heart, and the connection between us, and being too unable to speak about it. Unable to release the pains tinged with longing for another that have festered for years, that he has somehow come to console himself with–having gotten so used to them, they feel like they are the safe, the familiar.
We cling to our pain, each and every one of us, until we are truly ready to let it go and breathe in the world again. We cling to our pain and find solace in it out of fear of the unknown, the new, that may bring us more.
And there is the inevitable pain and sorrow in me having exposed myself to this for so long in relation to him–its inevitable erosion of my self-worth, and worse, the failure to trust my own heart's knowing, that doubt that had slowly crept in and begun to confuse so many days.
And there’s the intermittent ‘blame-game,’ though I know in my heart, my Soul, I was the one responsible for me and what I experienced–no one else. Not him. But me.
It is hard to stay in that knowing, that realization that if we can stay with our own responsibility to ourselves, we can grow, learn, and forgive… Instead, one wants so much to say, “You did this…” But he didn’t. I allowed it. I made all the choices I made, the decisions I made in the hope, the potential, of love…
We all do this. It's nothing new.
And in truth, I understood and still understand what he was/is going through–and so often I felt/feel compassion. I still do. But I wanted to believe I could change this, encourage him to choose something different. But only he can choose to release the old and find liberation that will allow him to love again, to trust his own heart again. Not me. But being so empathic, so understanding, I hurt myself in holding on so long to the deep potential between us, and thus didn't really serve him as a good friend either.
The truth is, I haven’t forgiven myself for that yet–for allowing myself to be in the dynamic for so long....for not being courageous enough, for not choosing me sooner.
For allowing myself to begin to lose faith in my own heart…
As I drove west, towards California, the sun setting first over the Blue Ridge Mountains, then the hills and farm lands of Tennessee, the vast stretches of Oklahoma and then into New Mexico and the red rock of Sedona there was also the growing realization I was beginning to feel, experience, that I could begin to find the gifts of my experience with T., the learning there was available–that I could feel it, come to know it in a way that offered wisdom and not merely the easy human pain…
And as I drove west, I began to remember too that C. was in California, and to be in California without seeing him would somehow simply be a lie, an evasion of a truth at the deepest level.
C. and I had been connected for so many years. We had weaved in and out of each other’s lives for the better part of 40 years, hearing about each other’s experiences–about family upheavals and deaths, about artistic and professional ventures, about failed romances, and the hopes and aspirations we each still held or were letting go.
Somehow through all of it, we had remained connected…until our last reunion..
As all these thoughts and feelings settled into the distance, the hours and light and day would come back into focus, and each of their names and lives would vanish into the tall pines, the vast fields or the red rock. And I would simply be present, alive to the moment, the movement of my life heading across the country, the movement of my body through the hours.
A stitch sewn through the hours, through the landscape, and through the vast territory of me as I swam consciously and unconsciously through the interior of my Being…
C.’s and my last connection was a confused one.
At the time, we had both been through and had ended long-term relationships–he out west, I back east. But we started communicating and eventually visiting. The visiting turned into him moving east, but during this time, I also had just been asked to begin traveling extensively… and what we later came to understand is that we had not only “crisscrossed’ the country in opposite directions over the years, but the direction of our lives had also moved into very different realms. So much so…we were in deep pain to be near each other in the same space and not feel, find connection.
We were struggling even to be friends.
It was a painful separation… One I don’t think either of us thought our friendship would even survive at the time. It seemed we’d grown too far apart into different worlds…even though we had prided ourselves on re-connecting over the years regardless of where we each were socially, economically, aesthetically. We had always known, recognized, our Soul connection, our deep respect for each other and what we’d contributed to each other since a young age. But somehow, in considering being together, the reality of our external differences struck deep, seemed too vast to find a common ground in daily living–in the chores that needed to be done, in the way we approached living, the way our own artistries managed a day.
I first met C. as a young woman. I was just shy of seventeen, if that.
He pulled me from the dark edge of myself. He made me laugh and introduced me to poetry—to art, music, Jung and much more. From D. C. and having attended and been brought up through the Coracan School of Art for Younger Persons, he was highly imaginative, inquisitive, and keenly intelligent. And like so many then, he had become rebellious to, and disappointed with, so many institutions, so many social behaviors and political ideologies, and went on the road.
When I met him, he had been only planning to stay in Corvallis, a small Oregon town, until his badly sprained ankle healed, so he could get back on the road–to play music, to follow his instincts across the U.S. and learn as much as he could through its native bearings–its streets and towns, its moving landscapes, and scattered histories.
I met him at what was known then as the New Jersey embassy–a house full of young males—mostly from New Jersey. I was there visiting a friend and he rolled up—crutches across the handle bars of his bike, his black and white dog at his side, his hair a shiny nest of long curls. As I and my friend stood on the porch steps, C. stayed on his bike and the two of them chatted–but we kept looking at each other, as if we’d known each other, seen each other in some significant moment of our lives.
Days later, I ran into him again on a street near the river–he was playing hopscotch with a friend’s young daughter. He was all smiles and gentleness. I remember now only that he showed up later where I had been living in the attic of a tiny cottage I shared with my sister–he brought me a small bag of sun-whitened cat bones, a sprig of pear blossoms, and Theodore Roethke’s Collected Poems.
He saved that young woman…
He brought her joy and laughter…
He shared with her the freedom of her own interests, the desire to know the world, the joy in noticing leaves, flowers–or the worn faces of elders camped below the Willamette Bridge on a winter’s eve, and the fascination of ideas and their connectedness, the beauty of ‘the ugly’–anything or anyone who'd been expelled from the warmth of community because they didn’t ‘fit-in’.
He helped her touch and experience within herself the joy of her own being…
He didn’t know it then, but he had saved her from herself…from her debilitating depression and loneliness, her wandering deep into the nights down vacant streets, empty lots, the narrow train tracks over the river’s winter...
Her readiness to say, “This is it…this is enough.”
It took me a long time to acknowledge that, but I had to go back and re-claim her years later in my late twenties, when I was ready to find my way into my own life, my own body, my own worthiness–when I was strong enough even physically to consciously hold the pain I needed to claim and needed help to even allow myself to consciously see.
It was only 10 years ago I was able to finally tell him this…and thank him. We had re-connected once more after one of our long absences from each other’s lives.
Driving down to Marin County from northern California, I was anxious–would it simply be another rehearsal of the hurt, sadness of our last exchange? We had both been hurt by our inability to find connection, to experience the deep connection we’d always known.
I tried not to think about it and watched instead the landscape change from fields and orchards to vineyards. Watched the clouds and wondered if they would somehow split, move, to allow sun, the light.
In truth, when we agreed to meet through email, we barely spoke–the words were neutral, brief, but there was no emotion.
It is hard to explain the simple unbidden joy when one sees someone who has been so connected to them through so many stages of their life. Who has witnessed the youthful relationships and watched your life evolve through one expression after another. Who has loved your dogs as much as you. And who has known your family at its worst and still found a way to be tender, kind, and compassionate towards them.
With little more than a moment’s hesitation, we hugged…and it felt good to be in his tall embrace, the unreserved warmth of his authentic welcome…
The kingdom of forgiveness…it has no ceiling… no limitations…no expiration date…
To find forgiveness in each other…to be able to speak our failures…our limitations… without judgement, without comparison, without ‘my pain was worse than yours…’ is a gift of freedom, of being human in all we are. It is the unspoken recognition that it is through our humanity that our energetic Souls have come to school themselves, learn what they have come here to learn and to honor that in each other.
Allowing forgiveness–of behaviors, limitations, fears–both of ourselves and of others, without judgement, is a gift of freedom. It give us freedom. It doesn’t mean the behaviors we experienced or enacted are tolerated again, or that we welcome and embrace circumstances that can lead to those behaviors…but it does mean, in forgiveness is kindness and liberation for each of us. It allows us to release those energetic knots we’ve gathered in our energy fields and in our hearts and that frequently later keep us from receiving, allowing, the very thing we still want–connection with another.
Those knotted energies, those old pains, act like invisible fists held out–and they not only push away what we want, but also act like magnets and attract those who are frequently struggling with the same issues to be healed. And even though we consciously try to move forward into new relations, those energetic knots, fists, magnets, are silently, invisibly saying, “Come near, but don’t come too near…I don’t want to get hurt..I don't want to hurt you…” And instead of acknowledging them, clearing them, releasing them, so many times we push them deeper down into our hearts, our energetic bodies, and our physical selves and play the same wounds, the same struggles over and over again.
We lead with our energetic bodies–not with our physical selves. We may attract another physically—but what is it about the body that does this? A gesture, a certain way of turning one’s head, of moving one’s arm or eyes…all those physical aspects infused with the energy of who we are. So, to consciously acknowledge the knots of pain we still carry, (that become the stories we like to tell), and not act on them, act them out, we can allow ourselves to breathe through them, and release them.
But we don't release them by hiding–ourselves or them.
And we can find release so easily in forgiving, in forgiving ourselves and others… and though I know–we all know–forgiveness…especially of ourselves is not easy… until we are truly ready to look at ourselves, to see who it is we are without judgement, without condemnation, we can't forgive...and nor can we release the old pains, the old stories we carry.
So instead of focusing on our most recent past, C. and I allowed ourselves–had each come wanting–to experience the simple presence of each other again, the connection below the friendship, the connection deeper than the idea of relationship. And so we allowed ourselves to learn who we were in the present again–and not who we had been with all the expectations we'd once held of each other.
Instead, we walked the trails over the Headlands, talked, and stared at the city through the orange beams and trusses of the Golden Gate Bridge. We watched the sky, the traffic. We took Ruby down to Rodeo Beach and gazed as she played in the sand for the first time ever and welcomed the sea’s breeze. We watched a group of school children circle up around a log, and we found joy in their joy and began to relax in the presence of each other.
Being able to simply be present to each other, learn about each other again, we healed some of the wounded connection, the connection that we both somewhere deep inside each knew and still wanted, a connection that has felt larger than this small life we’ve lived in, connection that has felt like its roots were as deep as imagination itself.
We allowed ourselves to touch that knowing, that awareness. And we allowed that larger, loving field of consciousness to be, rather than focusing on the specific objects–the emotions and the narrow ideas we each held of past experiences. And because we both had come wanting this, we got to feel again the joy and gratitude–the connection between two souls–we’d always experienced, known.
We gifted each other with the gift of our humanness, our humanity, knowing that the Soul holds only love, gratitude, and joy as it sees itself through the face of another and claims that greater loving field of consciousness into form. In that knowing, there is no tit-for-tat…no you or me… Just joy, just connection, just gratitude.
Driving back north at the end of the day, I felt relief and gratitude as the miles passed on the freeway and headlights began to appear in the dusk. Gratitude because C. and I had both consciously chose to not focus on the pains we’d caused each other–we could acknowledge them without needing to dive into them. Instead, we found the joy in experiencing our connection once more, in knowing the love we've held for each other.
And we respected that.
And as the dark rose and the headlights grew brighter, so many emotions and thoughts came into view. To be present, to be acknowledged, and allowed–because when we open the door to one truth, we acknowledge to the universe that truth is what we want to know, and allowing ourselves to be known in the truth of who and what we are, we are asking for assistance. We are claiming ourselves in a higher way. When we do that, we are given all the support and truth we can hold at the time.
And relief too…
Relief because I realized in being able to do this and claim this connection again between C. and me, I had also opened up once more the faith and belief in my own heart’s knowing in the places I had begun to doubt it–where I had allowed it to become so diminished in the last two years, what I had begun to miss-trust, question.
But here was my heart’s knowing in relation, my heart’s faith…and I didn’t have to question it… It was acknowledged… and it felt like relief…a gift to simply experience this again in such a joyful way.
To know I would wake the next day and not question it.
In the days after seeing C. a joyful, tender grief welled…and the mist and rain were a perfect mirror…an act of kindness in allowing the rain to hold my rain…
It welled up because I had experienced my heart’s knowing again and trusted it. It welled up, because in the mutual desire to find kind, loving connection again, I had felt the warm authentic embrace of being welcomed, and of C. trusting his own heart, even though I knew he too had felt anxious about seeing each other…
And it welled up because when I met T., I experienced again for the first time in so many years, the desire for true partnership–partnership that honors both the human and the Divine. Partnership that enacts the loving agreement to be each other’s mirror… and to love and honor that. To respect it with compassion and care...patience… To celebrate its joys...to live lovingly through the mundane.
That realization kept me in what was and is a beautiful potential…but a potential doesn’t become real unless its mutually acted upon, chosen… The gift of being human is free will…the gift of consciousness is choice… Consciousness is choice...
It welled up because my heart for so long strived to hold that potential for both T. and me, and because I allowed finally the silences of it to hurt me…by beginning to not have faith in my own heart's knowing…and by not accepting the truth it was trying to show me…
I realized too as I walked outside in the morning’s light rain coming down, I had not yet forgiven myself for that…I had not even wanted to say it…yet alone claim it…
“I invite you in, Allannah…I invite you in with open arms…I invite you in with love…”
And as we do this, as we breathe into this…we allow…we allow our higher self, that aspect of our Self connected to our Soul, connected to Source energy, to infuse us with its knowing, its energetic compassion and love…as we allow it to say,
“It’s Ok…We’ve got this…We’re here…You are not alone.
You are worthy of love… You are love….”
Until we can say it for ourselves…
“I am worthy of love just as I am….”
“I am worthy of love…”
“I Am love….”
The beautiful gift of being....of being in our humanity...the gift we have to give to each other by simply being in the truth of who and what we are...
What I know…is that I am working on this…I am working on allowing…allowing myself to release the guilt, the shame, the feelings of unworthiness…the sense of somehow of having been wrong in love…
The Mindful Heart reminds us over and over again…there is no right way…and there is no wrong way either. Every experience is here to serve us in the knowing of the truth of who and what we are… and there is no need to judge ourselves.
We need only allow… allow ourselves to experience our worthiness, our Divine nature. And the truth that we ourselves are not only worthy of love but are love…. That love is the Soul seed, the vibration at the core of our humanity, and as energetic Soul Beings, we are here to learn to recognize and know ourselves as aspects of the Divine…and know that we are never separate from love…
And as Ruby and I waded through the day’s waters–through all the runoff and streams washing across the ranch–I felt my heart in its knowing and its knowing is full of love and compassion…not only for T., but for myself… There may be pain and sorrow, but there is also love and gratitude… for when we finally allow ourselves to see the truth of a situation, the truth of ourselves, we experience ourselves with tenderness and kindness, with love, even while we experience the sorrow.
And I felt my heart in gratitude to C. for the warmth of his welcome, for his choice too to show up and simply be present. To trust.
If we are to claim the truth of who and what we are as sovereign beings, as energetic Soul Beings come here to learn, to grow, and to know the truth of who and what we are, then we have to learn to release our victim consciousness–not only from others, but equally as important from ourselves….
We have to forgive ourselves…
We have to lovingly take full responsibility for ourselves, for everything we feel and experience–everything we’ve felt and experienced–not only in relation to others, but in relation with ourselves.
And compassionately so–not with judgement or condemnation.
And we have to choose to know this over and over again… not just once…but all of today…and all of tomorrow…and the day after that too… We don’t’ get to do it just once and then go back into complaining and self-recrimination inside ourselves.
We have to allow it to become us breath-by-breath…moment-by-moment.
And the truth is, we need each other for this…we need each other’s support in this…
By being in the truth of who and what we are, we allow others to claim this in themselves…We allow others to feel it and be it. We don’t ask them, persuade them. Only by being and showing up as this ourselves can we allow them to choose it for themselves.
Slowly, slowly, I am learning the fluency of this… I am learning to allow it…breathe it.
I am learning slowly what it means to love…to be love…
And for that, I am immensely grateful…
In deep gratitude,