Any love advice? You and B seem to have it so figured out. It's beautiful, following your story... I was with someone for two years...she was everything to me..I still can't remember how it happened, or what exactly was said... I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I'm beginning to see that I pushed her away. I saw my whole life with her when we were together. All of it, beginning to end. I don't know if that's normal, or typical- I'm not really a person that gets into many frivolous relationships. I just can't seem to forget her. From one caring person to another, how do I get through this? Have you been there yourself?
Oh, yes. I have been there.
Thank you so much for asking this question. I could write a novel on the layers within your words, but will do my best to summarize key learnings by saying this:
I think we have to shut down the replay. We have to learn to turn off the mental projector and put down those editing pens meant for circling, highlighting and crossing out. We have to give ourselves permission to stop analyzing every move that we made while wondering how it could have all ended differently if we’d only gone left, instead of right.
I have this mental image of a few of my clients and so very many of my friends wearing whistles around their necks and collegiate logos on their hats while logging in late night hours in their emotional archive rooms, watching each conversation or argument or move like a football coach studies each play post-game. We could have won, if only that’d one instance had gone differently...
When we know better, we do better, absolutely. Becoming curious about our behaviors -- particularly those we aren’t proud of, most often sparked by fear and un-embraced vulnerability -- and the root cause of them helps us to change our patterns in positive ways.
But I have to question the value in painstakingly re-playing old relationships of any kind (romantic, familial, professional) . Could it be that maybe, just maybe, you were doing the best you could with the tools you had in those times? And to go even one, generous, step further; that maybe the other person was, too? Even if that best seems like an absolute punch-to-the-gut shitstorm of regret?
I also want to be totally transparent about the truth of how B & I live as partners: I promise you, we do not have it all figured out. That’s not a goal post I’m willing to build for us and I am certainly no expert on what that would, or should even look like.
I do know, however, that it truly takes both of us. Patience. Forgiveness. Remembering to make generous assumptions of the other based on all of the reasons why we love them, trust them, and feel gratitude for them. It takes a lot of play, intimacy and adventuring. Hard questions, vulnerable answers, and being curious about our shared and separate lives as they unfold within us, and before us.
We do not have a single flawless, undefeated season under our belts. But we have a hell of a lot of epic wins, memorable highlights, half time pep talks and meaningful camaraderie to be proud of. He continues to be my MVP. I still look darn cute as his varsity cheerleader (if I do say so myself).
And, as I recently told a close friend, I sure do give us extra points for continuously trying (and fumbling!) with flare.
I don’t want it to come off as though I’m telling you to forget about your once love. Perhaps there is unfinished connection there. Only you, and she, will know the truth of that. And I also don’t want it to sound as though I think you should risk it all with some kind of hail mary “let’s get back together!” plea.
Basically, I think whatever you think, so long as you answer these questions:
Is this about my most authentically human need for love & connection? Or am I being needy for love through numbing, neglecting, blaming or judging (self and others)? It’s a difference I ask myself regularly when considering matters of the heart.
And, is the time you spend mulling over what’s next limiting you, or liberating you? What is the most compassionate step you could take for yourself on a path to get un-stuck?
In the meantime, you get through it by gifting yourself room to breathe and grow. You feel your feelings in a safe space, perhaps with another loved one, because those bastards will beat their way to the forefront eventually and are far less maddening when we can sit, stay, good doggie (pats head) with them for a hot minute.
You get through it by remembering that you are here, alive and curious and introspective, already getting through.
Because one of the truest of true things I have learned from my time being really stuck in my emotional archive room is that the more I practice learning to love myself, my life, and others...to let in cracks of light even in small, digestible doses….the less appealing it feels to watch the same old boring footage again and again in darkness.
Hang up the whistle. Forgive your fumbles. Play the games of life and love remembering to, above all else, enjoy them, whenever you possibly can, simply because enjoying makes it worth lacing up for, no matter the final score.
“to live in this world
With much love and gratitude,
"I have always held on so tight: to the loss, to the lover, to the love. But now I saw that grasping -- even of dearly held beliefs -- causes us and others needless pain. Everything is constantly flowing and changing. Nothing and no one lasts. The best gift we can give ourselves and those we love is to let them be a part of the nature of things: the raging river, the growing child, the dying light."
Hi lady friends!
I'm popping on to TGL for a quick FYI about my newest, most favorite piece of functional fashion as gifted to me by the "bracelet fairy" (aka a girlfriend who refuses to admit she sent me this wonderful thing).
I'd like for you to meet the BitterSweet Bracelet...
Which is shiny and pretty and a perfectly simple piece of wrist bling THAT ALSO HOLDS YOUR UGLY HAIR TIES.
Sorry for shouting. But, c'mon! At last there is a way to disguise that hideous rubber band always hanging out on your arm that instantly de-glams whatever outfit you've mustered together. At last there is a way to go out at night with a to-live-for blow out, one that you know will be a swampy rats nest by the end of the evening due to your excessive use of killer dance moves, but can easily twist up into a sleek top knot without having to ask each of your gal pals if they have a hair tie (although, this is the mark of a true friend -- one who will forfeit their own future top knot for the sake of you drying out the back of your neck). And as a silly side note, this was one extra benefit of B having a man bun; I could usually count on him to have a band to spare :)
This is one of those little inventions that makes me both swoon with gratitude & also kick myself for not thinking of it on my own. I'm looking forward to switching out the band colors to coordinate with my Fall wardrobe, and stacking it alongside some of my other favorite bracelets.
Thanks, KP, for frosting my wrist and stepping up my functional fashion game!
"You're not alone, and you're not the one in charge," Mother said gently. "Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can. I think that is how we serve God -- and each other and ourselves -- in times as dark as these."
In case you don't have time or don't quite feel up to reading about my thoughts on Iceland, I'll summarize them for you now: Yes. Put it on your list. I beg.
And, to see a detailed list of all the places we visited (the idea of outlining & organizing it all oddly overwhelms me at the moment) please visit the Tauck Tours website. They do a much better job than I could of bullet pointing the highlights and route! Plus, their map will give you a perfect view of the area we covered.
We were beyond blessed with excellent weather during the entire adventure -- as was often pointed out to us by the locals. It was sunny, cool, relatively dry, and quite comfortable to be in sweaters & boots. Thanks to my 6 years of living in San Francisco (anniversary is this Labor Day!), I had the perfect "Fall/Slight Winter" wardrobe to bring along. All 48lbs of it, according to the airport luggage scale. Oops. One young lady, when asked about their climate, chuckled and said "Let's just say we pray for 'mild'...", if that gives you a better idea of the kind of possible weather :) So, we were lucky ducks to get so much sunshine and so little rain.
We experienced the countryside primarily by sea, which, in my humble opinion, was a most excellent way to take in the spectacular landscapes and wildlife. I briefly wrote about the best nature experience in watching orca whales here, and loved many other highlights such as fresh waterfalls cascading into the sea, plethoras of puffins & other bird life, sunsets (it never fully goes dark in summer!), moonscapes, snowcapped mountains, tiny villages, stunning fjord entrances and just general untouched beauty. I admittedly had one morning of bad seasickness as we crossed near the Arctic Circle, but I believe this could have been prevented if I'd been more diligent with the ol' dramamine. So, don't let that deter any of you land lovers out there! Just be prepared to giggle at your fellow passengers as they bounced around the hallways like ping pong balls trying to find their balance.
We ate most of our meals on the ship (two thumbs up!), but were able to try some of the local fare a couple of times on shore. The seafood is excellent, which probably comes as no surprise. The hot dogs, however, were one the most delicious damn things I've ever eaten, and I'm not even embarrassed to admit that. We snagged them from a food-truck in Grundarfjordur, and per the recommendation of the server, tried a version that included freshly hand crumbled Doritos. Ha! I know, right? This was a deep fried hot dog, my friends, with cheese sauce, some kind of salsa sauce, Doritos chips, melted cheese and spice. After devouring this decadent snack B looked over at me and oh so sadly stated "I wished so badly you wouldn't like this, because I wanted to eat the whole thing myself!!" Sharing is not caring, when it comes to an Icelandic hot dog. We also tried the local delicacy on Grimsey Island.....puffin and minke whale. Both tasted mostly like the teriyaki style sauce they were prepared in, to be honest, and although there are something like over 4 million puffin around Iceland, I still feel a tad guilty about this! Please do us both a favor and not look up minke whales online, either. Guilt city.
Anyway, another highlight was watching B plummet himself into the glacier-esque water in Heimay. It was essentially a personal dare fueled on by my family, and quite the exhilarating 30 minutes of pep talk/dock prep by Frank followed by 2 seconds of splash + getmethehelloutofhere by Brandon. Kid has guts, I'll give him that.
Spending this kind of time with my sister & soon-to-be brother in law were particularly priceless aspects of the trip for me. Sharing cocktails in the ship lounge, smearing silica from the Blue Lagoon all over our faces, fighting off the giggles like a bunch of school children each time one tour guide pronounced volcanic "ash" like "ass"... it was all so meaningful simply because it was shared. Seeing the world with people you love is, to me, one of the best feelings in the world.
Listen, you should visit Iceland. There is much more to see and do than was possible in our time so the idea of returning has already been tossed around. The people were kind and, for us fortunate Americans, all spoke English extremely well. Icelandic was the craziest language to hear spoken fluently. I don't think my mouth could form so many consonants in a row if I studied for weeks. And, for what it's worth, I just saw this article a day ago and it sounds about right for the energy this culture gave off.
So! Here we are. I took a zillion photos along the way, but only pulled out a handful to highlight. There were still too many to show off, so I grouped most of them into a gallery. Admittedly, they are out of travel order. But I hope you'll forgive my laziness and enjoy the images, regardless...