41: Mutuality

I love you. 

You say you love me. 

I can say,  I cannot doubt this is true. 

What does this make of us then?

What does this mean for you?

What are you willing to do with it?

What I feel for you is my definition of self-detachment. An mysterious fire that involves every single known and unknown aspect of my existence and that is able to make me be, accept, and do whatever it takes, in its name. There’s no single space of my being that I wouldn’t be willing give away, or share with you. I cannot establish a single inch of protection… or limit. There is no imaginable “I wouldn’t do”.

There is nothing between who I am and the “we are” that has been created among us. I can bring, without hesitation, everything I have been and will be, to our sacred space. With no reservation. Just to meet you there. I can also take away from me, your presence in my days, which seems to be the best experience of fulfillment I have ever lived, if that means you’re going to remain happy and in peace. I don’t have limits in my actions or intentions. You are the definition of love… My love.

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I believe in love… But not in fantasies. I even love, real love. The one that requires everyday decisions, tremendous efforts and simple days. The one that occurs while we have to deal with traffic, work and the weather. Because the material and personified dimension of a partnership, goes through breakfast in the morning, laundry, grocery shopping, and holding hands while driving with loud music playing in the back.

Living and sharing life means spiritual conversations, beautiful silences, midnight hugs…  dancing in bed and kissing your eyes goodnight. It also means making love at 3 in the morning or hiking through the breathtaking landscapes that we have seen.

Being together requieres taking the risks of being and remaining in us. The majestic moments fill our soul with eternity, but true love is what we decide to live and promise with the other person’s reality. Every sunrise. Each and every day. Small actions that build forevers…

Love is not an abstract feeling of daydreaming. It needs to be part of our days in order to be true and real. Otherwise, its just a poem, a majestic memory or a piece of art.

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Nobody can give what they don’t have, so I am a deep believer that it is not true that we can say “I will love you forever” or we will be happy together. I know that the only thing we can surely state is that in this present, we have the full commitment of attempting (with all we are) to give everything of our future, to remain loyal and true to share our realities. We can promise that we desire to inhabit a million of presents, with all their colors, darkness and spectacular moments. But the only thing we can in fact offer, is the intention. The true and deep purpose of making this happen.

And the only way to make it possible, is mutuality. And I am not referring to the type of romantic mutuality in which someone can say or show love. I don’t doubt that we can have this type of feeling along our lives for many other human beings and in several forms. I am talking about the meaning, commitments, meanings and choices. Mutuality in what we want to give and what we are willing to make of this love and this relationship.

Intimacy, freedom and honesty are the only mechanisms towards navigating the questions. And I think we have already drowned in them. There has been so much shared space between us that I doubt that there could be something today that we have not attempted to answer or discover together. And yet here we are, with a long and complex set of paths that we have walked and yet, with the sole purpose of going through them.

I wish I could lie to myself and pretend I don’t know what I know. I swear I would choose ignorance and lack of intuition this time, in order to allow the tides to guide our path and the days to bring the answers. But you and I know, this is untrue. We already know that our sails are there and we have even attempted to navigate with them. There’s no sense in blaming the wind or the sea anymore. This is our boat. We made one for us. With our choices and actions.

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I know how terribly hard this is for you. And I don’t know if you want to navigate into this storms.

I could wait for you, and be there an entire lifetime if you do.

But I am aware of our reality today: there is no real mutuality between my love and yours. And not because you don’t love me (in your terms and how you can)… I do know that you do. But because you are not willing to do it in the real way that this love deserves. That this world demands…. In the days that require giving up, transforming our beings, stop being one.. and become us. In every possible sense. In a constant attempt to make us the best possible decision in our days. The best version of ourselves.

Life has been good at teaching me lessons about the unhealthy extremes of loving, through my constant lack of protection and limits. I know the darkness and dangers that result from this disordered and accelerated process of allowing freedom in my heart to dictate my tracks. It destroys me.

I am aware of the huge amount of pain that comes from the mismatch between what we are, and what we want to be. And my most vulnerable and human fears are all activated and energized now, because I don’t want to give up on this. I just keep a deep illusion of it’s chances, that make no rational sense…  Deep in my soul there is a conviction on the REAL opportunity of this love to continue to exist in this world and transform us in the most beautiful versions of ourselves. I can see and even smell and listen to the music of our nights together, all in one second that could last forever.

But this is not mutual. And I know it doesn’t become mutual in time. It is just there… Or not. Everything else, is an illusion. A day dream filled with curiosity or pleasure.

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I cannot relate this pain  I feel today, to anything I have ever lived before. It’s killing me. I feel I miss part of my existence. There’s an empty space in myself, that once you inhabited and that now I constantly seek with a crazy need. I chat with your pillow and I get breakfast in front of the chair were you were sitting. And you are not there. I don’t seem to be able to inhabit my world in a place were you don’t seem to be anymore, but that is full of your presence and your name.

But I do know this can be worse… that we can harm us even more.

And that’s the path to my answer.

I listen to your intentional silences. To the questions you evade. To the words you don’t really want to state. To the door you don’t want to close, even though you don’t want to cross it either.

I know you, I think. I have patiently been listening to your fears and doubts. To your love and beautiful mind.

And my intuition is good: You don’t love me in they way I do. And yet, if you do, your choices are being made by not making any of them. Without noticing that in fact that is a decision itself.

You will probably never assume a choice. There is no us in you, that you are willing to build with its implications. And that’s why… I need to say goodbye.

And this time: Forever.

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A thousand years

Cristina Perry

Heart beats fast
Colours and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.

One step closer

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid.
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid.
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

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42: What do you want from me?

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I wish we could ask people this question, without judgement. More than that, I would really be willing to provide an honest answer, if I knew that my counterparts would speak with the truth. And the point being that it is not that people systematically lie about this (although some actually and purposely do), but because a vast amount of our behavior and social attitudes are not necessarily as conscious as we think they are. So building honest and real relationships actually has more to do with our ability to meet ourselves and feel empathy for those things that we don’t understand.

Think about someone that you love (who is not part of your family and that you have actually chosen to bring to your life) or that you recently met. Try to give this answer to yourself:

What do I want from this relationship?

What do I need from this person?

And here comes the trick: we are constant seekers of affirmation and pleasure. Which means that we have a natural drive towards being around people that provides our days  with happiness and other things that we use to meet our emotional  needs. We discard (in healthy conditions) those who make our life hard, that makes us think too much about ourselves or drain our energy. We “love” easygoing relationships and people that is willing to agree and be there for us. Part of this is homophily (tendency to build relationships with people similar to us) or self-fullfilyg prophecies (confirmations about what we think we are or want to believe about ourselves).

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This means that somehow, without noticing, we are extracting information about our “self” and meeting our emotions,  by the relationships we build with others. The real thing is, that we are not always aware of how that is being lived by our counterparts. In fact, there is something called the attribution error which shows that in order to explain other peoples’ behavior we tend to be mistaken in the continuous line of internal (factors that are on the individual: like personality) and dispositional (context, time…) causes. We are oriented towards internal attribution in others and situational attribution in ourselves (depending if the evaluation of what happened is positive or negative, I should say). So somehow, we tend to misjudge others (behaviors and choices) by thinking that they are more related to personal traits. We like to find someone “guilty” or responsible for what happened. So we assume rationality and other characteristics in other people’s choices, while being much less harsh in our self-attributions (we give more weight to our circumstances = we don’t want to blame ourselves or think we have been “bad”).

In this framework, every human relationship is full of a continuous  (conscious and un-conscious) attempt to meet our emotional needs, while quickly assuming that other people is under control of their circumstances, and acting accordingly with their personal traits. Obviously, this is generally not the case. The majority of us is actually a set of multiple identities that are actually conflicting in some domains, and we are trying desperately to make some sense of continuity and coherence. That’s something we do know: our circumstances matter (and we have full information about them). The major part of our choices are in fact automatic and not processed. So while we assume this effect of the past, the context and the situations for ourselves, we are not that good in having to do it for others, because it requires a lot of information (and listening) about our counterparts. And we already have a lot going on in ourselves. We don’t want to invest our energy in another human reality. Sounds complex right? It is. But we do it every day.

Attempting to seek in our self the answer about what we honestly want from any given relationship is extremely hard. It requires a high level of self-knowledge, introspective capacity and mostly, honesty. And sometimes, we are not even good at judging this because love by definition is not rational, so while we attempt to make sense of something that shouldn’t make any sense, we actually end up building a ver “good looking”  house  of cards. Adding more complexity to this, the answer to this question is not fixed, is actually dynamic. It changes with us, with the relationship and with the other person’s choices. So we also have to cope with uncertainty… and we really hate that one.

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But here comes the important piece for me: We need to be able to answer our own questions, even with an “I don’t know” and constantly attempt to seek for our inner truths. That type of relationship with our heart and soul is the only mechanism to build real relationships with others. Since nobody can provide what they don’t have, it is fairly impossible to have any sort of friendship or partnership if we are not comfortable with embracing this constant conversation with ourselves.

I’ve met people in my life that finds this so hard, that continuously evade any questioning on their feelings. I’ve seen a person throw up, shake, “get angry” and run away, just by the fact of being asked about their current intentions, sensations, fears or hopes. That is just a path they are not willing to take because it means giving up the must be’s or should be’s, to start talking about how things actually are for us. This is not something everybody can meet. In fact, I think this level of consciousness and self-knowledge is somehow rare.

So this is part of the reason why we cannot ask this question freely or carelessly. Because  many of the people around us don’t even know the answer themselvesAnd they don’t want to be questioned about it.

Others actually do know the answer, but telling the truth could mean that we are going to stop providing them with the emotional good or service they are getting from us. And this is were I draw the line.  This is exactly what I think causes most of the unhealthy treats in relationships and where the major part of the dishonest intentions come from. Being aware of what you want from somebody, understanding the mismatch on those intentions and keeping the relationship up, makes people (in my opinion) a really miserable type of partners or friends. Mostly for themselves.

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So here is the trick about the the title of this post: that should have never been the question for love. True love (for me) is based on not wanting or getting anything from anybody, but sharing something that makes no rational sense and live it… while constantly attempting to meet the other person’s feelings, needs and understandings of  their reality. Real relationships are based in a permanent intimacy, which means that even though we are inconsistent, afraid and doubtful about our feelings and intentions, we are willing to share them, in an ongoing manner. At least the ones that refer to our relationship. We are choosing to cross the uncomfortable and difficult path of questioning ourselves and listening to the other, in a permanent attempt to make the relationship honest.

How do you want to live this?

How is this working out for you right now?

What are you feeling today?

What are you missing or getting?

What would you like to change about us?

Those are better questions to make.

Can we promise to keep this ongoing honesty?

Whenever we are evading our own truth (because we are afraid of meeting it or because we actually know it, but stating it out loud will take the relationship away from us) we are destined to damage others. And ourselves. We can handle things on the surface, while mining our relationships with games, power tricks and unhealthy dynamics of dominance. Because in the end, fear is the underlying mechanism for damage and suffering. Being afraid is a really strong motor for our behavior…. It makes us do things we would have never done under any other circumstances (just like love) but without the correct motivation and consciousness.

I have come to learn that we should not ask ourselves questions that belong to time and God. What is this person’s purpose in my life or what is this relationship going to bring to my existence? There is no way of predicting that. These are things that are no in our hands or even in our imagination. Lessons and beauty always find their way and there’s no amount of anticipation that is able to give us the full insight of how our future is going to look like, or how are we to evaluate the choices we are making today. But we can decide to share that uncertainty or to keep it to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with doubt or fear, with self-protection or even deception. What we do with them, is what usually mark the wrong choices and biggest mistakes we make with the people we love.
There is fire in our hearts whenever we love and we are scared to burn and be burned, while inevitably dealing with something that is intended to transform you and your counterpart. It is fire because it is meant to provoke change and this is, in human terms, only done by love or suffering. So we are condemned to hurt (for good) and provide heavenly feelings in the ones we honestly and vulnerably love.
I am convinced that the right questions, should never bring conflict… If they do, that’s an answer. A symptom of lack of intimacy and truth. Sharing the fears and emotions of being vulnerable and in love, is the only way out of this complexity. We either face our lack of constancy and irrational feelings by stating them with honesty, or they will empower and guide us through doubts, to hurt others and play games with ourselves.
Like the song: everybody wants a flame, but they don’t want to get burn.
Yes… The only mechanism to keep it that way is intimacy and truth. And those take a lifetime to be able to share.
Bonfire Heart
By: James Blunt
Your mouth is a revolver firing bullets in the sky
Your love is like a soldier, loyal till you die
And I’ve been looking at the stars for a long, long time
I’ve been putting out fires all my life
Everybody wants a flame, but they don’t want to get burnt
And today is our turn
Days like these lead to
Nights like this leads to
Love like ours
You light the spark in my bonfire heart
People like us we don’t
need that much just someone that starts
starts the spark in our bonfire hearts
This world is getting colder, strangers passing by
No one offers you a shoulder, no one looks you in the eye
But I’ve been looking at you for a long, long time
Just trying to break through, trying to make you mine
Everybody wants a flame, they don’t want to get burnt
Well today is our turn
Days like these lead to
Nights like this leads to
Love like ours
You light the spark in my bonfire heart
People like us we don’t
need that much just someone that starts
starts the spark in our bonfire hearts
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43: Dreams

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This week has been the most impressive period of time I have lived in my entire life. I am not even able to phrase yet everything that has happened. I feel in a parallel dimension. I can only say that if it wasn’t myself, I could have never believed all the miracles and mysteries I have been going through in a synchronized fashion. If I ever asked for a sign, life and God had been exaggerated in providing me with them. But they brought more questions than ever.

On each life domain, everything that seemed to be shortening my breath away, suddenly, unexpectedly and aggressively turned to be a shower of implausible beauty. There was no possible expectation or calculation that could have made possible what has actually come to be real this week. And that has made me think, that somehow, dreams come true in this way and not in any other. When we abandon our expecting mode.

We go through life making small daily choices. And in my case, those typically regular decisions had also meant sometimes an irrational amount of efforts and bravery. I have lived the last 18 months in the most intense way I have ever known, not only cherishing every single detail of my days, as they come, but also giving more than what I am capable of, to cope and enjoy each piece of the path. It has been more than a lifetime of changes and every and each time that I have thought that things were going to start to become more tranquil and less “spectacular”, something even bigger has comed to question and move me.

And there is where I stand today.  The three more important life domains of my life had reached a peak this week in which everything that I have ever dreamed about them, had come to be TRUE. I’m healed. I’m loved. I’ve been granted with opportunities of living that were supposed to be out of my scope.  I feel incredibly overwhelmed and over-loaded. And this time, because of the beauty around me. That I had never lived this way and in this intensity.

Only a year ago, I felt life demanded more and more energy, work and choices out of me. That reality was extremely hard to meet for my abilities to cope with it. Today I feel the same way but for the opposite reason… Be careful for what you wish and dream, because it can actually become part of you. Your efforts and desires suddenly fade away in time and without even being aware of it, you reach the end of the mountain. Or even the sky. Yeah, I’ve been in heaven this week too.

I’ve been granted with the biggest gifts I’ve ever received in my existence. And while staring at them today, I’m not sure what to do with them from now on. Health, love, life, time and work. All of these things seem to be common language words, easy to pronounce and to assume. They have not been for me… my story had made them be an extraordinary amount of complex attempts to meet them.

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How is it that I should receive them?

Are they here to enhance my loving capacity?

Is this current reality allowing me to serve a purpose?

I have no clue. I just deeply believe that this reality will eventually make sense and give some meaning… in some way it should be building upon something that I don’t understand yet. I’m using, in love and happiness, the same approach that I have learned to practice with suffering: allowing each day to be as it is and trust that at some point, I will look back and better see what was essential about that happening.

I’ve given away my expectations in life by allowing it to be replaced by occurrences. And magic has come to play a huge role under this approach. Freedom, authenticity and peace had resulted from this ability. But also, and as a requirement for this, vulnerability and danger had been core issues in my life.  Every single “good” that we turn to, in order to be honestly lived, needs us to be willing to allow our transformation. And that involves not only our choices and intentions, but also the ones of the people around us, that appeared to share them with us.

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Like my golden retriever, I’m not that good yet at making the distinction between honest and ego-centered signals. I unconsciously assume goodness and truth in others. We all make this automatic process of understanding the ones around us with a similar approach than the one we use to explain our identity to ourselves. And in my case, this turns to be a huge danger, given that in almost every human domain I tend not to be the norm.

What’s the limit between taking care of yourself and living a life in which you assume that everyone is attempting to use you for their own means? I found the majority of people around me, constantly warning me about my life approach while giving me advice on how to be “less opened”, “less naive”…. Do I want this?

I feel that living that way would take away my biggest treasure: my faith and heart-oriented style and approach to relationships. But at the same time, I have a information oriented way of living and evidence seems to support, by the huge amount of damage I have been victim of, that there could be a better or safer way. Maybe.

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By now I can only say, that I’m sitting with three huge boxes in front of me, that I have never expected to be part of my life. Huge empty boxes, bigger than me, that represent life choices, paths and gifts. They could lead me to heaven. Some of them look tailored made for my dreams and so beautiful, I cannot believe they’re real. But are they actually mine? Are they part of my free choice of being responsive to the love and blessing I have received? I’m I finding my self fulfillment or my purpose in them? What is that they serve?

Dreams are not ending points. They are the result of huge and continuous efforts and choices. And usually they come to your life as signs and answers of what you are, have been  and heading. I not only never expected any of these things to happen…. I just never thought after they did, if they ever did, what could I do with them. And that’s where I stand today.

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44: We are

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When I got married, I was a  24 years old girl. A really weird and particular one, since my life had been a story full of mysterious happenings. I lived by myself in a different city, since I was 16 (for college). I had lost the most important person in my world when I was 19, after taking care of her aggressive cancer for two years. I was the “center” and merging point of my extended family (a huge and demanding role for someone that age). I had to make adult decisions, way before developmentally having the ability to do so. I remember looking around me and seeing my peers exposed to very few choices and responsibilities. I felt I had to carry the weight of the world instead.

My relationship started when I was 17. But I think it actually had much more history behind than the one we were aware of. Our families, values, neighborhood, friends… Everything was so common and merged, that there was never a question about if this is the “right” person to be with. It had to be.  And by being a girl with such a huge amount of drive towards handling the reality that was around her to the best of her capacities, I had only one purpose: doing it right.

To the very best of my ability I wanted to love and do good. I dreamed of the day in which I could give myself away into a present that allowed me to take care of others and use my lessons and talents, in order to serve them. Nothing was above that inner, unexplainable call.  But I was probably born in the wrong place. And maybe in the mistaken social class and context.

I was taught that love, religion and goodness were only related to following rules and conventions. Any sort of deviation of the “norm” meant risk to sin and evilness. Difference, by itself, was a serious threat. Questioning the standards meant damaging others, by making them question themselves or threatening the order. Telling the truth about what I did not feel right, attempted against the stability of a given, already “perfect” society.

“This is how it has been and should be”

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I’m wrong, I learned. On every human matter. On the understanding of love and my purpose. Feelings are dangerous and my deep different analysis of reality should be silenced. “Repeat after them”, otherwise you’ll always be an un happy and rejected human being. An evil and harmful one.

I found my context so unfair. Full of inequality and strange values that denied feelings, nature and humanity, just to keep a social and economic order. We all had to dress, behave and be in a certain way, even if that meant taking unfair advantage of others. I truly loved my house keeper, for example. I hugged her and wanted to provide her with elements of analysis and knowledge to go further her given circumstances. And I was forbidden to do so… Maybe that was too much to do: it could destabilize the system. Changing the order of social positions was scary.

I could identify how hard it was for many of “my people” to live under those pressures. For some reason, they kept finding in me (from a very young age) someone to secretly confess how hard it was to pretend living someone else’s life. I was always the friend that could be willing to listen without judging, even people that was 20 or 30 years older than me. They saw in my eyes and soul, how much I could understand them and relate to the unfairness of our reality. To the huge denied truths that we all lived in. Human common difficulties that meant to be hidden by the perfect picture we had to paint for our society.

But to the best of my ability, I had to do it right. I would never risk myself to be hurtful or damaging, to anyone. At least not consciously. And that meant, under my context’s standards, never allowing my true being to exist in a way that could be questioning the rules.

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So I decided to appropriate, memorize and attempt to follow every and each of the social cues and behaviors that were considered appropriate. I desired, badly, to give everything of me, to pay back the privileges I had received, just by providing happiness and kindness to my surroundings. And if for them, that meant following certain specific social behavior, I was willing to die in the process. They want me to love and live that way, So be it. That was my best adolescent bet.

And I got married. It was a beautiful wedding…but never the type of wedding that I would have chosen. Anyone who actually knew me deeply, would know that almost everything about it had more to do with meeting what I considered that could make other people happy. I recreated (my already passed) mother’s desired wedding. Starting for my husband to be.

But wait. Deep in my heart I know he would have chosen something different too. But his happiness (in my understanding) was also related to following the rules and standards of what his family and our society has taught us that was the right thing to do. So even though, I was able to question everything about my reality and my place, I was not “allowed” to say or do anything about it, because that would “harm him”. And them. He didn’t have the drive or intention of swimming against the current, even though whenever we were out of our context he turned to be a very different version of himself. The person that I loved. The one that I thought I could marry.

I never wanted to live there. That was not the place for what I wanted for us. I did not want a family that grew under those standards. I couldn’t even stand the idea of having kids that had to be confronted to those values, while getting home to request explanations about them. I could survive that discomfort myself but I could not think of having to raise my children that way. Aside from the fact that my future seemed predictably unhappy. I would be then, the type of frustrated mom that I always criticized.

And probably he didn’t want that either. But above and beyond anything, he had been raised in a way that also made him think that he had to follow a certain scripts in order to have a “happy and meaningful” life. The closer to his grandfather’s style, the better. He even inherited his name, that as much as a beautiful honor, it was also a chain and heavy commitment to meet. And in my heart, mind and soul, the meaning of marriage was pretty much related to seek for the other persons happiness above everything (this still holds true for me, but in a much mature and healthy version). Even if that meant dying in the process. Even if that implied pain, suffering and all sorts of human miseries. And I took this to the maximum of it’s limits.

Now I look back and I find a very painful reality: by “loving” him and allowing every type of annulation of my being, I made him a human capable of damage without any sort of consciousness about it. I kept him as a prisoner of himself, of a set of  truths that I reaffirmed as acceptable.  I took away his ability of questioning his context by showing him that I was able to merge in it, and renounce to everything I was. I even built with him the possibility of becoming an “us” that appeared to be something untrue.

At dinner, while randomly attempting to explain how unhappy and miserable my life was, I received this type of responses from him… or not from him in general, but from his inner dictatorial version (the one that also chains himself):

“You’re not someone who’s easy to love, so you probably need to modify your behavior to this context”

“You’re just impossible to treat, it’s just normal that people attempt to harm you”

“You are crazy, that type of thought and questions are just not acceptable”

“You think you are better than others just by stating analysis of what is good and wrong”

“Of course they are right in reacting that way. You are too hard to treat.”

“You’re not a happy or social person… you’re always with this uncomfortable bad look”

I continued to explain, talk, write… And even read him my letters, that tended to be too long for someone who doesn’t like to read, so that he wouldn’t “get bored” with them. I had the hope that eventually, he would come to understand what I was going through. I thought it was a matter of rationality. I believed that someday, that connection would come.

I begged him for therapy, guidance, spiritual direction… whatever implied a helpful intervention that he considered valid. I asked him in every possible sense, to allow someone to help us handle this double-standard situation, in which we were inhabiting a marriage that was happy for him, just because it was supposed to be following the script of our context, by killing myself alive in a beautiful house, were there was an empty and harmful relationship.

I spent days in the room next door, crying, painting, writing, praying, doing yoga, meditation… I needed to find a way to get back from him, that part that I once met. In Barcelona, California, Roma or Amsterdam… It’s there, I thought to myself. He is that too. This is just part of a pressure that he’s not able to overcome, and I need to play this game in order to make him happy. I need to protect him. From himself?

“Life happens in this context. This is your reality. This is the only possible place that we can have and you’re just dreaming on implausible and meaningless things that just reflect you’re lack of maturity. Instead of being grateful.” He said. Constantly.

Yes. My authentic dreams and desires, who I was and wanted to be, was a sign of delusional day dreaming that were not allowed  for me. I interiorized that. His voice turned to be my consciousness. He would never love me, as I am. He needed me to be what he thinks he loved about us, and what we should be. And that was my destiny: providing him this “happiness”.

How can someone like you, that was always helping others to understand and live these stuff, can actually get caught in something like this and silently? My friends ask  me today.

Well yes. This Un-named Truth is part of our human nature. We know what we know and we are not able to live it. We have a natural drive towards stability and also towards making ourselves believe that we are “good”.  And love makes us think that everything is possible, so in the end, deep in my heart, there was a strong illusion that fed my days, by thinking that suddenly, one day, everything was going to be different. That he could actually see me. And notice who I was.

Five years were not enough to understand that nobody, not even God, transforms a human heart. That freedom, is a gift that we all have and there’s not such thing as any sort of amount of love or rationality able to make anyone see what they are not willing to see. But more than that, that love is not a game of changing or being changed, but the opposite. We should organically accept who we are and build together a daily renewable and hard-working us.

I sat with him in the pool of our empty house, in the summer of 2016. With two plastic toys: a golden retriever and a wolf (all my camino posts can explain these personifications). I asked for no interruptions. I was wearing my hippie pants and my Camino T-shirt. I was dressed as myself.

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“I need you to face the truth: This is not a marriage. There is no possible “us” between us. You want me to become what you think we are by rejecting and killing a part of me, that I had been desperately trying to get rid of, in the name of our love. But I give up. Now I see I can’t. And by attempting constantly, to kill myself for you, I already damaged the love I once felt for the part of you that accepted and loved who I truly was.”

We cried. We hugged each other. We knew this was true. We also knew he had a wolf and a golden retriever in him too. But he was not willing to open that door. Not then. Or probably never.

This post took a while, a lot of thinking, traveling, therapy, conversations, memories and tears… Yes, I was in an abusive relationship for 11 years. But not because of what we were. But because of what I did to myself. And to him.

I allowed my life to be ruled by norms and unhealthy social and religious beliefs about happiness and love. My initially “good intentions” of loving and following my heart, ended up in a complex relationship full of growing tragedy… and beauty.

I’m guilty, I should also say, of bringing complicity on that “we are” that was so terribly harmful, painful and damaging for both of us. And don’t get me wrong, I also have him as the main character of the best memories of my life. He is an amazing human being, who wills to love and be good, above everything too. He’s just a prisoner of that  set of “must be…“. Until the point in which he is able to stab endlessly a bleeding heart. Even the one of the person he loves the most… without noticing that his knife, is actually also killing himself alive too.

I pray for him. Each and every day of my life. I love him. I care about him. I would do whatever it takes to allow his happiness. I would get out of my way, thoughts, certainties and even realities, to be there for him. I have done such things and I don’t regret that. But now I know, that by scarifying myself, I was also harming him. And love never operates that way. Even if it looks right.

I dream of the day in which he authentically smiles and finds beauty in the small and true details of life. I really wish him the best possible existence and transit in his path. He will always be the first love of my heart. And my biggest lesson so far. He will always be the author of my debris… And that, is the best opportunity I’ve ever had. That has been my way to authenticity and true life. To faith and real Love.

The journey of becoming, was given ironically, by the destruction that loving the wrong way, caused in myself. How can I not be thankful?

If love in the end, always finds a way of turning what seems wrong into a right beauty. And that’s what I keep today in my heart, about this love story. Authentic Beauty.

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45: Still loving

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I have come to discover in myself, a tremendously high ability to love above and beyond damage,  indifference, intentional attempts of harm, true malignancy… and just almost any sort of existent bad and unaware intentions of bringing goodness down. By now, I think there are few things of human nature, I have not been victim of. This week has questioned me. Deeply.

I called one of my most important guides in the world, to tell him: I’m worried about my unhealthy behavior of empathizing with evilness. With everyone.

He  was curious and smiled at me. What do you mean?

I have been, once again, impressed by how much my soul can be trespassed by unexpected swords of bad intentions, without prediction. But this time, I’m identifying a different look: the one that mixes curiosity with the fact of not standing the existence of goodness. This person really wanted to get to my heart and break it down. With a strange need of damaging it, using it and bringing down the sole existence of something that questions the fact of goodness and ego oriented actions. And instead of hating, I’m loving. I’m even suffering by the deep understanding that these persons are prisoners of themselves, of their lack of ability of getting out of their own inner perpetrators. They hurt, because they reflect with others the same relationship that they have with themselves. With their inner characters. They want to fight back their own harming versions… but they fail to do so.

He (my friend) has been a tremendously important guidance in my life… He’s the one who inspired me to do the Camino, that’s all I need to say.

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So I continued my confession, by irrationally stating that I feel something really weird and illogical about myself: I’m able to even love and appreciate the weakness of those who intentionally attempt to damage me. That, I know, it’s extremely unhealthy when stated this way. But I feel it natural, and true within me.

I have come to understand how much I need to meet certain conventions and just walk away from these beings and circumstantial harms, while actually willing to be there for them. I want to hug them and whisper “it’s going to be ok, you can fight this back and transform it”… and this is to the one that is pulling the knife in my belly. How come that be possible?

He said: Protect yourself. If there is an anticipated signal of discomfort, pain or even weird sensations, don’t stay there. Trust your intuition.

I replied: I can’t. I just don’t feel that emotion. I’m able to see in my perpetrators, their own suffering, their own cage… their own hard path. The fact that they are actually suffering more than me, by their lack of bravery to move beyond their limits, to be strong enough to be good, to be authentic and follow their dreams.

He remained silent.

I continued: “for some reason I can only explain this as the grace, I have been asking for: the ability of forgiving and loving, until a point in which regardless of the path I turn into, I am actually able to see light. In the most terrible and explicit darkness. I’m scared of this. Really.”

You don’t have to be scared of what people dream of having, he said. You’re genuinely and powerfully able to love. With no judgement or limits.

I know. I cannot regret this gift. But I’m being hunted. Hurt. Damaged. And I’m unable to protect myself.

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Just remember there are some specific risks that are not reversible. And that your innocence, that you value and choose, is also to be protected, for it to remain untouched in time. You’re embodied in a reality that limits your ability to continue being you, if you allow others to harm you.

You’re right, I said. My soul just seems like sn opened highway now. And I guess this world is full of people that would really only be willing to use it. And others that would just find it that questioning, that they need to damage it.

-And there I am. How come I continue loving?

-Be grateful for it then.

– So… I am.

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46: Termini

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While the Leonardo Express starts moving towards the Fiumicino Aeroporto I feel an empty stomach. I have the feeling that something is being taken away from me… like if I was going to miss Rome forever. I can only make one analogy: like when you passionately kiss goodbye, the one you love and turn your back to him or her. But you can still feel their smell on your skin.

Yesterday, by spending my afternoon with a beautiful stranger (one of the magical pleasures of traveling solo) we were sharing that same weird sensation of inhabiting Rome with the ghosts of our loves. We shared a parallel sensation of seeing that person in the streets and cafes of the city. We were questioning and doubting on our feelings, while  savoring one of the most beautiful and majestic cities of the world.

I think we kinda actually said at the same time “like I was with him“. This young, but wise philologist, with religious master studies, had also felt Rome as a question mark in matters of loving and it’s strange forms. While drinking an amazing coffee at caffe saint eustachio (if you ever go to Rome, this is a MUST), I told him that somehow, we were missing an non existing memory of what we loved and we would want to have in ourselves.

We are day-dreaming I said. And probably not about that person, but on the love they represent, that is not to be plausible today (or even ever). We are seeking to live again, that state of sublime romantic experience, that we shared, that actually faded away in time with the versions of them, and us, and what we could be. But we’re not. Because our realities came into place.

“This is like literature”, this cute Spaniard said. I smiled back. Life kinda is. 

Yes, it is. I live that way, between some sort of lucidity, mystic experiences, realistic tragedies and simple beautiful surprises that I cherish like a child. Like this crazy past days of being “stuck in Rome” thanks to Irma (the Hurrricane) that were perfectly filled of the most amazing meals, religious experiences and prohibited actions.

Having to be in Rome for three days, inhabiting its more local life, has been one of the best opportunities of my life. I needed this time with me. And life always takes unexpected shortcuts to give you what it’s meant for you. Not a minute late. Rome has been patiently waiting for me, for 6 years now.

Oh, Roma…

She has been hypnotizing me with her sunsets, smells, food, gelato, wine, churches and mozzarella di buffala. This encounter with her, has been the one that drives you towards belonging. I think Rome and I already went through the sexy initial phase that only brings unmeasurable thirst for drowning in high emotions… and we have gotten into that state of loving that mesmerizes eternity in the relationship. I wanna feel her, breath her and spend my time in between her stories. I want to know Rome deep inside, feel her fears and imperfections. Run under her fall rain, singing my Caribbean and random songs. Just because I find everything beautiful about her. I want her. I don’t want to leave her.

This new encounter with Trastevere, Piazza Venezia and the un-skipable Fontana di Trevi, with the sound of my delusional conversations in the absence of my non-existent love, has started a fire in my heart that I’ve only felt once before for a city: Barcelona (see post Barcelona). I want you, Rome. I feel that we belong together. That we deserve to dance together, at least one more piece.

Uh, Roma…. I’ve been moving through you so freely and smoothly that I feel we have had the time to fall in love truly. Now you’re not pretending to show me your best sights and I’m not in a rush of using you. I’m not devouring you like in former times, I’m tasting you. During this trip, we have cried and laughed, tasted each other and met in God. I don’t want to miss you. I really don’t want this to be over.

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I love the way you give yourself away: unexpectedly tricking what seems to be simple. Everything about you is a sign of aliveness, of humanity. You modestly hide authentic unexplainable treasures. You’re mystique and resilience, strong and sweet.

Being here has been magnificent and as all the huge things of our lives, also unexpected. That’s how true love operates. You cannot hold it, or plan it. You never create it. It just emerges spontaneously and reaches you… it chases you and invades everything in your hours until it has involved each one of your bones, thoughts and desires. And that’s how I feel about Rome right now…  I want to let her in my life. I want to discover her, in the gentle but unique touch and tastes of it’s wines, coffee and pasta.

We’ll meet again, my dear Roma. If you let me love you, I’ll promise to carefully get into you, with the smooth and kind caresses that intend to activate your skin and discover each of its secrets, with the clear attempt of not missing anything.

Or at least, let me  just want have a nice dance with you again, under your tender rain.

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47: Tu Roma

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I’m unexpectedly in your place, inhabiting a mysterious company of what you mean to me. I walk through Rome with your voice, devouring it’s beauty with my dreams. I feel that somehow your untrue presence gives my eyes a different look of what this is city is and has been in my life. Now I also feel it like mine. And as irrational as it sounds, I don’t want to leave it just because it connects me with the illusion of your existence in this world.

From the very moment that I landed in Rome, this somehow turned to be Tu Roma. I felt I could breath the air of your times here and for some reason, that empty space by my side, that you will never inhabit, turned to be a beautiful traveler companion.  It invades me, it shakes me… It makes my heart intensely live my hours here. I feel I can smell you and even imagine each of our conversations. I follow your paths and it seems as if you miss them. And they miss you too.

You are the most mysterious meaning of love in my life. You provided me with the discovery of what feeling eternity could be like in this un-understood reality. Through your touch I could discover that there is a love that suddenly grows in oneself and that desperately transforms every part of what your identity and reality is. I decided to meet you, within me. I wanted to see what that gift meant and how it could be true. And in the innocence of my lack of experience, I surrendered to every part of this loving capacity. You awaked in me, a conception of what life and love could be and how it transforms every part of your soul.

I’m living with your memory, and a crazy amounts of facts that we never lived together.

I feel you now, by my side, enjoying this capuccino doppio that I am drinking and I can even smile with the image of how much I would be enjoying your stories and the spontaneous laughs that only you can take out of my heart. I don’t have a reference for this. This is the closest I have felt to literature and eternity. I somehow feel there is a space and time in which I could love you and you could love me back. But you don’t. You never will.

Having this tremendous capacity of loving you like nothing I’ve ever met before, has questioned every inch of my existence. Discovering the possibility of actually giving myself away for a love that moves every cell of my body, every thought and feeling, has been the most beautiful lesson I’ve ever received. But it is again, the biggest mystery I have ever lived.

How come I could love you this way and in this time and place? How come I can feel so much of you in me and make this love just a part of my past? Of an imagined precious romantic story that was not meant for me?

This is also the biggest irony I’ve ever known. How come this huge amount of willingness to give myself away cannot find an outward manner of expression? How is it that I can actually not even love you an inch less, for the fact that I know this is not mutual?

How is it that my soul just continues endlessly firing stars of illusion and good intentions towards the fact that you exist? Its like if this love is not inhabiting this reality. But a totally different dimension, just created in me when you appeared to be part of my life and dreams. You took away my lucidity.

I try hard during my days to not remember you. I even intentionally disappear your voice from my mind,  to not provide me with the possibility of your presence in my heart and everything that it implies. But there are times and now I see that also places, that for some reason just push me out of this world and make me inhabit a surreal and imagined dimension that I cannot control anymore. In that fantasy, you walk through Rome with me, we eat pizza and gelatto al pistachio. We enjoy a glass of wine in Piazza Venezia during the sunset and most of all…  in that parallel universe,  you actually love me back. Truly. You receive me, as I am and with this unmeasurable things that grow in me, with no intention.

Probably the most important lesson of all, has been precisely how this love has gotten me out of every known part of me and every single chance of control over it. It has created a new paradigm, a set of truths and a more authentic version of me, that not even I knew. I guess this huge and intense power of what it has come to change should have a different purpose than the fact of missing you forever. This forbidden and silent illusion, makes ME something different. It’s enough to say that for me this is not just anymore Rome… is Tu Roma.

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