courage

The Price of Freedom, Dig-ni-ty &...

Hopping Aboard That Peace Train… I received a notice from the Welfare department the other day that my children and I qualify for food stamps.   The three-page form did not say much. Nothing was filled out, only a yellow-highlighted area that read, “approved”.  After several attempts at calling the number listed on the form, I finally reached a pleasant woman who instructed me to return to the Welfare Office in downtown, Newark, New Jersey to get my “pink” slip or a stamp that would allow me to move to the next step, which was to go to 50 S. Clinton Street, in East Orange, New Jersey to get my “card”.  (Ironically I actually have “friends” at 50 S. Clinton Street!)

As I hopped on 280 East in the downpour, Tuesday morning, I began to see how this entire Welfare process was beginning to feel like Food Stamp Monopoly!  You have to visit the worse parts of New Jersey before you get to pass "Go" for the supermarket and collect the Goods! I briefly fantasized that I would land on Free Parking and grab a few bags of Double Stuffed Oreo’s for my kids and if I was lucky I would be able to snatch up a gallon of milk in the process!  As my mind veered off into the imaginary real estate world of Parker Brothers, luckily, I did not land on,  “ Chance” for Camden, New Jersey and did not stop off in scenic Irvington to bear witness to a nice homicide on-the-go or heroin fix…   No, instead, I missed my exit and spent the next hour and forty-five minutes getting lost in lovely downtown Newark, as my navigational system decided not to “redirect” me properly and ran out of battery…”  Yes, I am geographically challenged, but how was I supposed to know that Raymond Blvd. changed into a different street and not a very pleasant one at that!  Still I remained positive and rolled down my window and asked some locals for directions, but few spoke English and the one gentleman who was walking with his young son, kindly instructed me, in between rain drops, where Rector Street was: “just keep going straight, it's down neck, you'll run into it.”  But I never ran into it, the streets grew desolate and narrower and more and more unappealing.  Needless to say, I eventually drove straight into the turnpike and I really didn’t care the direction I was going in at that point.  I was happy to drive on a road that I recognized.   As I headed for 280 West, I called my thirteen-year-old son to tell him that I would pick him up from camp and then I tried reaching out to his father to see about getting some food for our children.

*     *     *     *     *

I had made my children's father aware, the previous day, that we needed groceries.   If we need food on Monday and it is already Tuesday evening, how long do we have to wait for that basic need to be satisfied?  And while I appreciated the food card that his sister’s generously sent last Friday (of which he was probably not aware of) there had been no funds for food in two weeks.   The boys were vacationing with their dad’s relatives the previous week and, I, their mother did not need anything to sustain herself while they were gone? That is OK!  However, two weeks is a long time in this part of the country, let alone the world, to have to ration food.   We were so low on everything that the food from the weekend did not last very long.  Stock items get stored away and everything that does not need preparation gets eaten immediately.  When you are feeding 13 and 16 year old boys you run out of food even before you have unpacked the grocery bags!

I emailed the father, I texted the father, I called and left messages for the father.  The father did not call me back. He called our boys, but our boys do not know what they need.   They know that when they go to the cabinets or the refrigerator they want to find what they want and need to eat!  (Those of us who have boys know:  boys are basic: Feed me.) They do not open the refrigerator door and contemplate, “hmmm, I might need some eggs in a few days and maybe some milk to go with those Double Stuff Oreo’s my Mom’s gonna get as soon as she passes Go!” No they are not processing their daily requirements for meals and treats this way!

*     *     *     *     *

I called the father on one of our boy’s phones as I had a better chance of him answering (and isn’t this story and post really unnecessary? Don’t I have better things to do with my time than to write about this nonsense?  That this nonsense even exists to write about is disturbing.  When you live so much adversity on a regular basis, every day becomes a full time job.  The apparent challenge of finding employment in this economy is exhausting on its own, when you do not have your basic needs met or those of your children, the challenge is magnified not to mention--blinding.  It has been this way for 8 years now. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just get the mother of these children food every week? Without her having to remind anyone that food is a basic need(?!), especially the children’s father? )

I offered (after not hearing from him on my phone) to drive a total of an hour just to pick him up, as he was without a car for a day and  take him food shopping for our growing and hungry boys.  He said that he was out with his sister and cousin for dinner, “Can I get back to you?”  He said, as I heard him put a morsel or two into his mouth.

Can he get back to me?

Was he kidding?  It was after 7:00 p.m. and our son had a camp trip the following morning and I didn’t want to give my boys peanut butter and jam another day, and there was no milk in the refrigerator! I guess when you have just eaten a nice meal, it is difficult, if at all possible to imagine what a hunger pang is, even if it is  your own children who are hungry.  I don’t know many people, especially parents, whom, upon hearing that their offspring might need food, would ask the other parent, “Can this wait till tomorrow?”  What part of “we need food”, does this person not hear?  Are we living in a third world country where tomorrow doesn’t seem that far away?  Do I really sound like, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf?” I have been dealing with this for eight years?  No really, it cannot be that long, but yes, it is!  Eight memorable years of emotional torture, subtle, (and constant) crisp, private and prolific abuse! Always with the remnants seared into the minds of me and my three and the lingering(s) of evidence for only us to see…

*     *     *     *     *

In every unhealthy relationship there is a form of bondage where we are a slave to some aspect of the relationship, perhaps even addicted to it's suffering.  There are financial shackles as well as emotional, sexual and spiritual ones.  Sometimes suffering is the misinterpretation for love, thus a cycle of abuse is imminent.  My situation mirrors many relationships when a man or a woman leaves an abusive and unhealthy marriage.    Surely the mother of anyone’s children deserves more respect than this!  What was my crime anyway?  That I left him? That I left him because he was Mean? Surely the father of anyone’s children who claims to have loved or loves the children’s mother would want her safe, happy, healthy and his children well fed.  However, our society does not teach this model of love or of marriage.  It teaches possession and that if love is possession, then once the possessed departs (or flees) not only is the love taken away from them, but they are kicked out to the curb and justifiably starved as marital aftermath!

That is love?

Sometimes I wonder if people know the Horror they see around them.  Sometimes those who know the situation on the inside cover up what appears obvious to outsiders.  The horror in the lives of so many, seems to go unrecognized by the masses, or unnoticed by those most close to the situation.  If we look the other way, does the horror disappear? I wonder why we find ourselves surprised when atrocities happen.  We appear shocked at the unexpected, yet predictable events in our lives and the lives of those dear and near to us.   We see.  We are aware, yet we do nothing or we alleviate our guilt by blaming others as we, the Silent Observer excuse ourselves from any responsibility.

Question: Why? Answer:  because we have our Check Lists!  We have our “facts”!  We have our interpretation!

When we are aware of situations and we see that wrong is being done and don't do anything about it, isn’t there a crime in that?  We witness the Ugly and turn away and pretend that we do not really see.  Is this not a form of violence? Is this not a type of neglect?  Is the need for power and control not also a form of violence inflicted upon others?

*     *     *     *     *

“If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens around your own.” Emerson

At some point in every slave’s life there must have been a clarifying moment where some made a choice from accepting the life of slavery to attempting a life at freedom, even if that freedom meant the departure from this world.  (Divorce was my attempt at freedom!)   An African American friend of mine told me the other day, “don’t you remember what a lot of the slaves tried to do when they were being put on those ships? They jumped overboard, because they would rather die than be someone’s slave…”

Disobedience?  Defiance? Could these possibly be places where one chooses the chance of death for the price of their dignity and freedom?

In my own case, I wonder what will go down in the “history book” of my life and the lives of my children.  Whose facts are actually believable and whose truth is actual? In the end it won’t matter.  It won’t matter.  It won’t matter.  Millions and millions of lives have been lost to violence of every kind.  The most damaging and crucifying deaths are the emotional ones where we lose our Spirit, for when we lose our spirit and hope; we have lost our Faith—our faith in humanity and ourselves....  When we lose our faith in humanity we have become foreigners to Who We Truly Are—this is when we participate in the murdering(s) of others as well as jumping off of ships (and bridges) ourselves.

They say that there is a price for everything—especially Freedom.  Yet in the end if we are free?  We die knowing that the price for Freedom is—price-less!

(Every slave no matter our color or gender, knows that subtle, yet profound truth…)

*     *     *     *     *

As I approached the camp where my youngest was waiting for me to pick him up, my exhausted mind settled in Reverie, a safe place filled with a new hope as I heard the strumming sound of a guitar in my mind and I recognized the face of a little curly black haired boy, name Cat Stevens.  He recognized me too!  He whisked me off, taking my hand in his and we sailed on to what I believed was the direction of My Happy Ending!  A clear path, laden with yellow bricks, in between railroad ties, guided us to a perfect rainbow, lacing the bright, cloudless sky.   And little Cat Stevens pointed down the tracks for me to see that, yes(!) the noon train was visible and not far away at all… he sang and he sang and he sang,

“Now, I’ve been happy lately thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be something good has begun. Oh, I’ve been smiling lately; dreaming about the world as one and I believe it could be, some day it’s going to come.  Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train, oh, peace train…"

(… take us all to our Happy Endings…)

So, when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, Decide, Decide...who are you going to listen to, your heart or your mind?  What will you do?  Tell the Truth or Lie?

(only time will tell...)

We will get our Happy Ending, just you wait and see!

The Dignity of Chocolate vs. Hallway Sex...

(and the ecstasy of having both with Honest Love) I had a conversation with a gentleman recently about the complexities of marriage and the difference between men and women with regard to sex.  He insisted that sex and the desire for sex for a man is more a physical need and functioning of the body than anything emotionally binding.  I have heard this story from many men over the years and I wonder if they think that this belief suggests that they are more virile and in some way keeps women submissive.  Is this theory a way for these men to fantasize that they are the stronger sex or the more sexual sex?  Might I suggest that men with this mentality are sorely mistaken.  With this biased perspective these men just sound silly and naïve.  Sometimes couples are simply mismatched.  When relationships experience the Tired Yawn Syndrome, this might be a lack of interest and not a case of an ailing or tired libido.  When theories imply that the libido kind of falls asleep after a certain age, how are the experts so sure? Libidos thrive when the right heart and mind of two individuals happily and effortlessly unite—no matter their age.

People have sex for a variety of reasons and needs.  Certainly there are individuals with medical issues, but there are also very healthy men and women out there who are having sex with partners out of “obligation”, habit or some other questionable arrangement, whether their libido is active or passive.  (I wonder what Joel Olsteen would think about passive or obligatory sex...  I imagine his adorable, southern drawl as he looks into the camera and his audience, and says,  “I’ll let God be the judge of that...” And his finger would point towards the cameras as he tilts his head slightly in the direction of his millions of admirers, his beautiful blue/green eyes twinkling as the audience clamors for more of his wise words, holding up their bibles, praising the lord for salvation!)

For me, that would be a fair answer, but why judge at all?  Maybe God doesn’t care what we do with our bodies or whom we have sex with!   For me, this inquiry about sex and chocolate is merely observation—a contemplation about what is important to us as human beings, i.e. chocolate, Hallways Sex or something more?

The gentleman tirelessly attempted to convey to me that sex is more of a need for men than women. (I remained poised and quiet and nodded my scalding head as my imagination took reign and my mind watched him toss an entire burial ground over his head as his language grew more inaudible, until his face and words were completely blurred and covered in dirt.)   He implied that men can have sex without any attachment, and that they were more emotional over a golf match.  As he continued to bury himself further, he said, “You know, even if you hate your partner, you can still have Hallway Sex with them.”  At that point I asked him if he needed any assistance in placing his remains in the grave he had no problem digging on his own.  Before burying himself completely,  I curiously asked, “Hallway Sex?”  I inquired as to what he meant, although it doesn’t take a genius to imagine the visuals… He continued to explain how you can meet your partner/housemate midway in the hallway and even though you can’t stand each other you can still have sex with them in the corridor and then go your separate way. (I suggested that that might be yet another form of prostitution but that I would have to contemplate the subject matter further and get back to him...) I then asked how you would divide assets in a divorce with a relationship that sounded more like a compromising of souls and body parts as compensation—and who was the pimp in this arrangement?

*     *     *     *     *

The day closed with my single parent mind reeling about sex, love and My Happy Ending!  While lying in bed, contemplating my Aloneness, I imagined what life would be like with chocolate and the right (!) Someone!  Before turning out my lights I looked to my left and glanced to my right and thought:  No man there, at least, not a touchable one!  A man.  Hmmmm.  If there could be a man to my right or to my left, he would have to be a Some One Special.  He would have to be someone I would want to have wild, passionate, Hallway Sex with and then still want to share a meal with afterwords!  He would have to be someone that I could stand listening to and know that he could stand listening to me—effortlessly. If I am ever to share-any-side-of –my- bed- again with a man, he will have to be funny, cuz I sure could use a good, long, laugh to sustain me for the rest of my life!

(Remember: laughing is as effortless as love!)

And what if there shall be no man to my right or to my left to share my bed with again some day?  Well then, a nice, yummy piece of dark of chocolate would most definitely suffice.  Chocolate makes most of us smile, even if no one sees us.  Chocolate makes us feel loved, even if it is the wrong kind of love!  Depending on the piece of chocolate, quality and texture, if eaten properly, the savoring of a piece of chocolate lasts longer than most orgasms. (Something to consider!) Chocolate, when respected can actually heighten our awareness and experience of life!  When I realized that my “housemate” did not love me, and that love and intimacy needed to partner with the sexual act, having “hallway sex” was not an option worth considering for me, yet chocolate was!  Where would the dignity be in Hallway Sex without love?  If we are in loveless relationships, how, as adults do we compromise our bodies and souls so recklessly? Yes, we can rationalize our sexual encounters as well as all of our life experiences.  I wonder though:  If we are this unconscious and careless with our bodies, where is our integrity?  How can we be concerned with what our children are doing if we are doing the same? Aren’t we consciously and subconsciously teaching them the lessons with our actions? Why not pause before we have sex the next time with the Wrong Some One and just go and grab a nice piece of dark chocolate, instead of a loveless, tasteless, sexual encounter. Chocolate is dignified and so sensual. And with chocolate there is always a sense of oneness and love—for me anyway.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Sex without intimacy seems to be the norm today.  Intimacy is scary—there can be no hiding when you are intimate with someone and sex without intimacy is easier, except when it is over. (When it is over, we all know how the Demons surface.) Have we, as a society forgotten how to communicate and feel and differentiate between what is real and honest passion for someone, over what is just a primitive self-depreciating act?  What does sex have to do with intimacy anyway?  Sex is yet another habit and one of countless modern-day addictions and function of the body, but when you have sex with love? Ah, now, that is the soul bear naked--not the body. Soulful sex is intimacy.

*     *    *     *     *

So how do we not lose interest in the internal aspects of the relationships that are supposed to sustain us throughout our lives? The internal—the soul-loving aspects of any marriage or significant relationship must be present before any physical acts take place.  If it is not, perhaps this lacking soulful presence is what leads to many Hallway Sex partnerships!

Perhaps many of us shut down our emotional, spiritual and sexual worlds at some point between childhood and grown-up-hood.  We close the door to that beautiful world we call Our Selves, where intimacy and integrity originate.  We lose sight of who we are when we are still too young to know which doors we are closing.  If this is so, it is obvious why so many people cling to relationships that are not internally sustainable; relationships that remain on the outside, sexually as well as spiritually.  It seems that the external world is the only world that many rely on.  It is yet another form of grazing. We graze the spirit and we graze the body of another, when we have soul-less sex, but do we ever touch the soul of another, let alone our own?

If we pay attention and pause before our next senseless, sexual encounter, we might notice that there is an open door in all of our lives; a sustainable door that allows us to pass through and change the course of our lives.    Something happens to many of us when we reach a certain age.  An age of comfortable discomfort and we forget that that door to Our Life is still open.  Opportunities are missed and the door closes or goes unrecognized.  Sometimes we forget that we have choices.  We become numb to ourselves.   We function, but we do not feel and the slow pill of misery settles in the bellies of so many of us, thus leading to Hallway Sex and we forget that we can still find happiness if we just keep walking down the Corridor of Our Life, switch on the light and see, really take notice of which act we wish to take part in.  If there is no visible love waiting for us when we turn  the lights on, we can choose to keep on walking.  When we turn right and take the stairs, eventually we will find our way out into the world, where the opportunity for love and joy awaits us all.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Laughter and Honest Love, coupled with sex is effortless, and fills our bellies and our souls in ways that nothing else can—other than chocolate.  When we discover unconditional love, we are uncontrollably drawn to it.  Why?  Because Honest Love is our homing instinct.  Nothing makes more sense in this world than when we understand the direction of our way Home—every aspect of our life becomes clear and we never return to our former sate of not Knowing.  With this Knowing, often we find ourselves in love and having sex with the right Some One.

With this kind of love, we can have our cake (sex) and chocolate too!

So, when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, Decide, Decide...who are you going to listen to, your heart or your mind?  What will you do?  Tell the truth or lie? Have Hallway Sex—or chocolate? Or the ecstasy of having both with Honest Love!)

(only time will tell...and I will and I will and I will…get My Happy Ending, just you wait and see!) For all you chocolate lovers out there!  Try the below links for some romantic, chocolate  decadence! http://www.thechocolatenation.com. Try Alice’s Tea Cup for some of Tom and Sally’s Chocolate Body Paint for when you meet that Special Someone mid way in the corridor! http://alicesteacup.com/

Louis Armstrong, Reality & The T.V.

It is not my nature to watch television, even though I thoroughly enjoy Oprah’s facial expressions and raw candidness with her guests and audiences.  Her natural ability to communicate is as endearing as it is engaging.  Ellen’s child-like innocence, vulnerability and authenticity rivals Oprah’s, which makes these two dynamic and powerful women so irresistible.  It is the Child-like…quality in adults that we find we are so drawn to, I think because, on some level, this is where we all enjoy communicating.  It is our Buddha nature defining who we truly are, shining through with our honesty and an innocence that all of humanity shares… My children have months of taped shows that I have fantasized about watching at some point.  For the most part, I have not watched television for the past eight years.  At best, I will scan the t.v. as I pass from room to room to glance at what my children are watching.  Pretty harmless stuff:  The Simpsons; American Idol, Scrubs, 24 and John Stewart.

I hear there are television shows based on the private lives of individuals and their reality and exploitation of their personal lives. (and they get paid to allow this?  Doesn’t that make it more ugly?)  I don’t even know who John and Kate are, I just know they have a ton of kids and are now getting divorced!

Question: Why would anyone want his or her private life exposed without provocation by someone else?  We enjoy this?  Are we such a voyeuristic race that we have not evolved from the primitive-tiny-brain state of our primates?  (They were probably more evolved than we are today!)  Even so, if you are provoked, I can’t imagine any kind of compensation for such global scandal, not to mention the unimaginable disruption in the lives involved.  To willingly agree to have your life as a live show and to allow that show to invade your private world seems equivalent to publicly gutting yourself and enjoying the pain and degradation of your soul as it gushes for the world to see, comment on and judge.  Is our world rapidly becoming some S&M Circus or replication of barbaric times where we pay to watch individuals destroy themselves and take pleasure in watching them?

*     *     *     *     *

At the gym yesterday morning every television channel colorfully displayed media horrors.  Atrocities around the world, a train conductor killed in a crash; there was Michael Jackson’s death and the gossip that surrounded this iconic man’s life. The news flashed with the speculations and assumptions and judgments on who he was, who he was not and: Who was he really? How can we not have anything but empathy for him?  We, as a society participated in creating him in one-way or another.  It is what society does.  We build Them up only to tear them down to shreds with ignorant opinions and accusations.  (Kind of like our own lives and the people in it…)

Farrah Fawsett also passed away, ending her very public battle with cancer and lastly that republican governor and his sad story...  As I have stated before and I keep wondering: why are the private lives of others of such importance to so many? We can’t even escape their lives if we wanted to.  There are televisions blaring at us on the supermarket checkout lines and in most restaurants, stores, shopping malls and doctor’s offices.  I expect and hope that if enough protest, televisions will be banned from places the same way cigarettes are.  Have we forgotten the word, moderation?

Is there a way to temper this media sensationalism and get back to a simpler, more civilized life?  (Was life ever civilized?) Why are we not inspired to live within the respect and integrity of ourselves? Why do so many live such painful lies and why the interest and  care about the lying lives of others? It baffles me every day that there aren't more people just empathizing, feeling and celebrating good for everyone...

Is this what the Pilgrims had in mind when they sailed over on that boat?  Did we wreck our karma because of what happened to the Native Americans and slavery?  With the narrow minds of a puritanical society running the Show, look where we are today?  Still archaic in our way of thinking and it is 2009. Still threatening our people with a God fearing God, instead of a loving God and always the threat of damnation for the sins or crimes of our hearts.  (and no matter the punishment or sentence, the heart always wins.)

And what if all that has marred these individuals that are on our television screens and Internet, comes to light and is true?  What of it? Two are dead the southern governor will probably be hung like John Proctor from The Crucible or he is apt to kill himself from such unwarranted public humiliation. (can't he just sneak out some back door with a blanket over his shame and let him suffer privately?) Personally, I hope he runs off to Argentina and lives happily ever after with that woman he loves and while I might not support who he is or what he does, I do support his heart.  People just do not leave wonderful relationships to risk their lives and careers. We are participants in our relationships, rarely victims. I had horrible experiences in my own marriage, but do not consider myself a victim. I escaped as we all can.  Problems always arise when we lie to our heart and therefore we undoubtedly lie to everyone involved. The Lie is the Damage. The Act is the Result.

So I left the gym to face my day and my own untelevised dramas, thinking about Louis Armstrong and how he sang with passion and life, What A Wonderful World...and I hummed on the way to my car:  I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you…I see skies of blue and clouds of white—and the colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by... and I think to myself, what a wonderful world…

and I imagine... Satchmo and My Silent Friend

So, when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, Decide, Decide...who are you going to listen to?  Your heart or your mind?  Tell the truth or lie?

(only time will tell...)

Commitment vs. Complacency

(and the hidden betrayals of the heart...)

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head,

the heart and the senses.”

Lao Tzu

The Mind and Commitment

What is commitment?

When explored deeply, we understand all that commitment is not.  Commitments lose their meaning for us when we see how the mind tries to convince the heart that its version of guarantee will last; yet in the end, the heart always wins.  The heart commits without fanfare, Paper Work or conditions.  Commitments become Riddles when a disorderly mind tirelessly attempts to organize impossible rules to live by.  When unrealistic expectations are not met, impediments are inevitable and will eventually cause the breakdown of how we understand a promise.  The collapses of our vows often come with a change of heart, not of mind, yet this is not betrayal.  On the contrary, when we live within the criteria of the Ethics of the Heart, there is no disloyalty unless we have inadvertently silenced the wisdom of our soul’s callings.  When the mind commits solely to the linear conditions of life in our career and/or personal life, rigid rules become a prison, which leads to regrets.  When we stay on the periphery of relationships (our mind) the internal space (our heart) is left unattended.  Without the tending and nurturing to our heart, there can be no real love and no viable commitment.

The Heart and Commitment When love is present all the rules change, because love changes all the rules… When love is present, commitment is unencumbered and free.  The heart is betrayed when the mind conquers it, leading it to believe that its allegiance is best when we refrain from questioning the social conditioning's of our lives.   This is why Honest Love is so threatening to the average mind-centered individual.  They know that there is never competition with anything that is pure and unalloyed, yet the very nature of its innocence is threatening to minds that believe love needs to be contained and exclusive.  This notion of exclusivity actually prevents the natural beauty and innocence of love to flow.

Commitment is naturally all sustaining when each party knows and loves the essence of the other; when two people do not deceive themselves with pseudo love and they are not using the other for personal gain or hidden agendas. This kind of pledge is spontaneous and unintentional, yet when love is not present, commitment is not available; however, our mind will try to convince us otherwise. Even if the physical body remains in the relationship, without love, we all secretly know when our heart departs…

We might ask ourselves: What is love, actually?   Love is not as many things as we have created it to be.  As a sensory needy society, Love is often marketed as something that it is not.  It is not a thing to possess, but it is a thing to give away… Commitments shift when we realize that what we were being loyal to was in fact not love and perhaps the farthest thing from it.  If we stay in a loveless relationship the commitment becomes a dysfunctional state of mind, complacency sets in like a slow death and our heart is continually betrayed.

Is The Limbic System Responsible for The Chemistry of Love and Commitment?

Where does the soul come into this equation?  Committed love transcends sex and individual boundaries.  There is an undeniable interconnectedness—a limbic resonance where, when we go beyond dopamine, phenylethylamine and oxytocin we reach our highly evolved spirit- state and we commit to what is most natural—which is to love.

Love is real when you can love another the same way as a beautiful wild flower.  To tear it from the earth—it would die. But to gaze upon its Petals, along with the sun, along with the kiss of the wind and with the rain, pure white rain—you watch it Grow—this is love.

How does commitment change courses? The heart will move, always in the direction of life, honoring its need to flow, change and grow.   The clearer we become to ourselves, discerning when commitment needs to be reevaluated is something that can only be determined by an individual’s ability to think independently, free from the influences of others.  Sometimes we feel that we must stay in a job and relationship because of a promise.  However, how can we grow if we stay in a Place that is stagnant and unfulfilling and perhaps detrimental to our overall well being? This is where we address our personal understanding of value and what and whom we value.  This is where we must ask ourselves:  Are we honoring commitment or are we being complacent? Are we committed or are we attached? (Do we know the difference?)

Commitment in Marriages and Committed Relationships

Marriages are an institution and contract.  The origin of them was to build strength and alliances.  Marriages were often arranged up until three generations ago.  Love and romance in marriages is a fairly new concept, perhaps this is why there is conflict.  On one hand the history of marriage was designed to win wars (yet often with marriages, internal wars are created) and love had nothing to do with its success or failure, yet producing offspring did.

How do we choose our right and permanent partner? (Is there just one?) We need to know ourselves very well.  We must have an impeccable relationship with ourselves first and foremost otherwise we cannot fully know or appreciate someone else.

In the end we have to be our own authority and take back what belonged to us in the beginning:  our commitment to the Ethics of our Hearts. What ideology can ever answer for us, what is right or true for us?  Who do we intrinsically trust with our life decisions if not ourselves?  If we are to trust outside authorities is that a life of integrity? Authenticity?  Or is it a life that is only half alive?

(These are not questions any “expert” can answer for us, for whose authority, if not our own reigns with more raw honesty than our own?)

"The heart is forever making the head its fool."

Francois de la Roche Foucauld

Love in a committed relationship happens by understanding and trusting who we are.   With Honest Love two souls recognize the fragility and value of life and hold that understanding and that love above all else in the world.  This kind of sacred love and commitment knows no hierarchy; there is no exclusivity or possessiveness; no mine, no jealousy, no right sexuality or wrong sexuality—just that which is valued.  With the heart, all riddles are answered effortlessly.  When love is not present the heart departs even if the body stays behind, leaving it scrambling aimlessly for its forsaken soul.  When we stay, each individual knows that they are not committed; rather, they are ghosts haunting the body—holding it captive and hosting a relationship that does not really exist.

We must ask ourselves: What could any scientific theory or relationship expert tell our hearts that we don’t already secretly know?  Before there was verbal language, there was first the language and vision of the heart.  It will always be the Master Language; the highest Voice with a universal vocabulary and an undeniable Authority that will always honor a higher truth than any written or spoken word.

So, when that Clock is about to strike 12 and that noon train is approaching around the bend; the tracks are laden with golden bricks pointing in a Direction and your life is asking you:  Decide, Decide, Decide...who are you going to listen to?  Your heart or your mind?

(only time will tell...)

What is a Dream?

Dreams are the courageous callings inside of each of us.  they are the wishes we sometimes dare to follow or wish upon, but when we do...they will often come true.if a dream or wish does not blossom or lies dormant we must pay attention to notice if the dream has morphed into another wishes or dream.   it is at that moment of Shifting that, if  we are alert, we can heed the change that will surprise us with a fresh, new thought of a new dream that can come true.

and a wish and a dream, is always a miracle waiting to be discovered and uncovered, by you...