Child

Child,

You are joy.

In your laughter

I hear my soul speak.

 

Child,

You are innocence.

In your sweetness,

I recover my solace.

 

Child,

You are kindness.

In your praises,

I unearth my security.

 

Child,

You are love.

In your adoration,

I find my needs met.

 

Child,

You are vulnerability.

In your needs,

I discover my meaning.

 

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Challenging Love

There was a time when life was pure and simple. Each day was a new discovery, and one sought with innocence and without fear of failure, rejection or heartbreak. Those childhood years, while recollected easily by most of us, are left behind with little remembrance of what it truly felt like to be so free.

As adults, it is perhaps impossible for us to ever be that innocent and liberated again, and probably there are biological imperatives surrounding this. With every disappointment in our lives, we learn to build walls and to convince ourselves to be careful, to be suspicious, to avoid vulnerability. Indeed it is important to be careful sometimes and certainly, vulnerability isn’t synonymous with self-preservation; an activity we flock to so naturally.

I’ve called myself an open book many times in my life. I’ve also frequently been told I shouldn’t be one. I make myself vulnerable in all sorts of relationships, and you can be damn sure I’ve had my heart injured more than once. Let me say that in no way is this an attempt to draw comparisons or assume I’m better or superior to anyone, but I’m personally happy I live my life that way. To me, healthy, successful relationships are founded in part on transparency and open communication, and then built on understanding, empathy and trust (among other things). To leave myself open to hurt is to also leave myself open to being understood. To open the pages of my heart to be read by others is to allow them to know and comprehend my story; where I’ve come from, where I am at present, and where I’m headed – at least as much as is within my ambit. Expressing my raw emotions and impressions to others allows me to feel authentic in a moment or inside of the expanse of an entire relationship, knowing confidently I’ve not held back any part of myself. I’ve given the relationship as much chance at thriving as possible, by genuinely pouring out my heart. I’ve poured out kindness and love on another person both by focusing on all the wonderful things I see in them, but also by pointing out areas where the relationship could be healthier. I open myself up to my intrinsic desire to change the things about myself that I can; wanting to improve myself and make the relationship better, recognizing I can only choose to change myself.

I’m not willing to risk a life of regret and misery, resenting those who have hurt or disappointed me. I’d rather thank them for the lessons they helped me learn. I’m emphatically unwilling to settle for a mediocre or merely content life rather than one that is overflowing with joy, satisfaction and even opportunities for astonishing growth fueled by pain. I’m loath to even consider the possibility of sharing my life in the context of a romantic relationship with someone who doesn’t push my life over the edge and into an experience of love, elation, discovery and evolution that I cannot experience by myself. Sure, love comes easily to me and I find myself feeling love towards strangers sometimes. But mind-blowingly passionate, expansive and selfless love is something rare and worth searching out and waiting for. I no longer believe in ‘one true love’ but I do believe that two people who are right for each other will mutually desire and deliver each other unsurpassed ecstasy and make one another continuously strive for more – more love, more joy, more wisdom, more transformation, more achievement, more exploration, MORE.

Of course, I remember many happy childhood moments with my family and the many blessings I was bestowed. However, I don’t recall what was going on inside me during my earliest formative years. I would imagine, though, that when I’m able to quiet my mind, accept my circumstances, and flow forward with a smile, that peace I feel is probably similar to the innate peace that lived in me as an innocent child. The immense love I’m able to feel in my heart is probably a reflection of the love that filled me to the brim as a youngster, unafraid of how vulnerable it could cause me to be. I imagine that the desire I have to make others happy is something preserved still from that time, when love was paramount and still unblemished.

My goal is to seek such unbridled passion, such courageous love, and to continue to regard life’s struggles as gifts, no matter how hard they might make me push myself. From another perspective, I’ll endeavor to see others as innocent, grown up children, like me, who have just been hurt by life and thus to remember that when they hurt me, it is probably not with that intention. Finally, I challenge myself to draw from within me the innocent, fearless love of a child, combine it deliberately with the wisdom of an open-minded, optimistic adult and accept the realities of life’s disappointments with a smile.

Love, Enduring.

Love so sweet;
Spoken without barriers.
Delicate kisses;
Given without condition.
Through growth and transformation,
Surmountable challenge and incomparable delight,
Uncontrollable laughter and tears of exasperation,
I grow alongside you.

With perceived inadequacy and inconsistency,
Held by a heart of love overflowing,
I adore you more each day.
Be patient with me, always.
You are abundant love, unfolded.
You challenge me to selflessness,
Remind me of the joy in simplicity.

Birthed of my body, fed by my breast:
My marvelous child.

elijah bath

Mothers in Sync

This poem was written by my mother. She shared it with me this weekend after I shared my blog with her. I didn’t know that she liked to write, or that she could express herself so beautifully in poetry. Of course, I know she’s a brilliant woman, but had no idea we had this in common.

This poem was written shortly after I was born. I am wholly touched by the depth of emotion encompassed in this work, and so appreciative that she shared it with me. Especially now, being a mother too, I can grasp what she was feeling in the moments she wrote this piece. I love you mom!

Blood – we share.
Your beauty astounding, as you take your first breath. I chasing mine.
As I acknowledge your existence, mind racing, love-fear-joy- strangling me.
Raw, exposed, reality overwhelming.
You touched my heart and soul, beyond words.
Mind filled with fear, fear of responsibility for another being, of making mistakes.
Heart filled with pride-love.
Soul, to share with another.