Love= Being Vulnerable

I’m vulnerable and I loathe it.  But I love it more.

Let me share a favorite love story with you:

I fell in love.

I felt loved back, he definitely loved me and he said so, often.  He showed me by acting like it too.  After a while I got to a point where I was wondering if we were officially a couple. (The dreaded exclusive).  I finally forced the conversation with him about what direction our relationship was headed.  He wasn’t having anything to do with a commitment!  Even worse, he told me he was still in love with someone else!!  I was mortified.  It didn’t occur to me that he could feel like that about anyone else when he made me feel like the only person in the whole world.  At the same time, I knew it.  His words confirmed what my instincts knew already.  But my heart ached.  I was literally crushed.  It was the first time that I voiced my love out loud in years.  I felt like I had failed in earning love back.

A few days later, I woke up and realized that I did something incredibly hard for most of us to do.  I took the risk to tell him everything I felt.  I was so proud of myself.  It didn’t matter anymore that he didn’t feel the exact same about me that I felt about him.  I had told him and that is ALL I can do.  I was still hurting but I respected myself for taking the leap forward in my life, for breaking through on a new skill.  I was true to myself.  I knew I couldn’t sit back and wait for others to make progress in my life anymore.  I learned that not everyone needs to like me the same way I like them.  Or love me the way I love them.  And it’s okay for me to be the one who loves more.  In the days that followed I developed true empathy.  A little for him, those are hard confrontations to converse about, but mostly for me.  I learned to be okay not being bulletproof.  I was okay with failing.  It’s going to happen over and over.  Everyday.

Today, he is one of my dearest friends.  It turns out that our love for each other was supposed to be just what it is now.  And it’s wonderful.  What was seen as devastating and heartbreaking became a lifelong friendship of the best kind.

I spent too many years of my life not telling people how I felt.  When I was released from that stage of my life, I told everyone how much I loved them.  Or sometimes how little I loved them.  I have zero shame in telling now.  It’s how I feel.  I get to own that feeling.  However, new experiences creep up on me, then shyness and fear set in, walls go up, and I have to learn to be vulnerable all over again with the new person.  It’s hard work.  I imagine when I have a relationship where I risk it ending by voicing my true feelings, it’ll always be difficult.  While it devours me in the moment to say the word “love”, it always feels better on the other side no matter what the outcome.

Is there someone out there that needs to know that you love them?  You should tell them.  Right now.  The world sometimes sees vulnerability as a weakness.  I only see it as a strength.  And while I fail at it all the time, it is exactly what makes me feel the most alive.


Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero

If you did know me when I was in middle school, you definitely knew what my favorite movie was:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s no exaggeration that I could quote every line of the entire movie. That’s what happens when you see something over 100 times within a year or so. (It’s still my all time favorite. And I’d like to formally thank John Hughes).

Remember this movie?  Anyone? Anyone?  If you forgot, pause here and go watch it on Netflix.  You won’t regret it.  These were kids who figured out how to work the system. Even as a pre-teen I recognized these special gifts and I sometimes think this was the key to my happiness.  Here’s what I noticed.

1-He was kind to everyone

What advantage does this give him? Every advantage. Besides the old saying that it’s the golden rule, being kind provided him opportunities that never would have appeared if he hadn’t been friends, or at least friendly with so many people. People cared about him because he cared about them. “Ferris Bueller? You know him?” “Yeah he’s getting me outta summer school”. They exchanged favors. And although nobody knows if he really just passed out at 31 Flavors or was dying of disease, if they had known what was really happening in downtown Chicago, I’m quite certain no one would’ve ratted him out.

2-He was oblivious to challenges.

Nothing was impossible. “The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?” “You can never go too far”. “The bold survive”.  Why would getting Sloan out of school be a problem?  The Sausage King of Chicago doesn’t hesitate or backdown to get what he wants.  It doesn’t even occur to him that he had obstacles.  

3-He’s an amazing best friend.  

He encourages Cameron to get up and out of the house.  He helps through what is clearly depression and pushes him to stand up for himself. “Cameron: I am not going to sit on my @$& as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.”

4-He always looked on the bright side.

He got a computer instead of a car so what do he do? He learned how to hack.  Hacking back then was equally easier and harder than it is now.  He changed how many times he was absent…from the comfort of his own home.  And while he didn’t own a car, I’m sure he never had a problem getting rides.   

5-He believed in himself and put himself first.  

But in a good way. “Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.”  We all should take care of ourselves first.  That way it’s actually easier to take care of others.

I love this movie.  So much.  Ferris Bueller, you’re still my hero. 

You’re still here? It’s Over. Go Home. Go.

Aura Photograph

While in New York last summer I wondered into China town and found myself in the Magic Jewelry Shop to have my aura photographed.  I had read a lot about these photographs with one blog in particular that made me curious.  And who can resist the colors?  The door was locked when I arrived and I had to wait to be buzzed in even though it was midday.  The tiny shop had two display cases filled with, of course, jewelry.

Right away I asked for the picture and a lady had me sit and place my hands to the sides of me on small black metal boxes.  She asked me to hold very still.  The photo was taken and I followed her to a display case where she did the reading.

Much to my surprise I was overwhelmed with the accuracy of the reading.  My aura colors that afternoon were bright yellows and oranges and reds.  There was darkness over my tummy, cloudiness over my heart and my body was tinted green.  The first thing she told me was that I needed to be mindful of eating breakfast every day and that not eating was the cause of the darkness in my photo.  Immediately I was impressed that she would know that I skipped breakfast the past three days.  She then told me that the orange meant I was a friendly, outgoing person.  The yellow represented that I had a major life change about two years ago and that it all was for the best, that I was growing into the person I was much more comfortable with and that it was making me truly happy.  The red was informing me that I needed to reach out to my creative side.  And the green tint picked up on my need to be compassionate.  Not surprising since I’m comfortable doing Hospice Care.  And the heart thing, cloudy, well, no surprise there.  I was given a few more details and it concluded with her telling me that the intensity moving from the bottom right to the left meant that the future was bright and I’d see amazing things in the next year.

She finished the reading while taping the photo to a card and suggesting a few pieces of jewelry to enhance the good and protect me from the bad.  I politely declined and was invited to come back again at a different time of day or the following day because our aura changes as often as our feelings.  While I didn’t get a chance during that trip, I plan to go again next time I get into the city again.