Test of love

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Love is love is love, so it is said.

Love is a feeling I hope we experience throughout our life for people who come into and out of our life, people who are forever tied to us through their presence or our memory of them, and places that leave indelible impressions in our life.

Love is a feeling that ebbs and flows; this is inevitable as change occurs and love diminishes or reinvigorates.

Love is not just a noun; it is not just a “thing” that we have or do not have. Love cannot persists without conscious attention. How will we know love unless we know love by noticing what it inspires?

The feeling of love cannot sustain, not for long anyway, the practical reality of living with or being with a loved one. We are attracted to the supportive words, kind gestures and quiet presence that we know to be love. And we are not immune or blind to the socks left lying on the wet bathroom floor, the promises not kept, the lies told… and what then?

Therefore, love is also a verb. “To love” as well as “to have love”.

Whether a romantic relationship, or a parent-child relationship, or friendship, doing love is an imperative. Love is a precondition, and loving becomes the act to preserve love. It means doing for another at times by denying our self. I am not referring to the martyr parent or companion; this can be as simple as shortening time out with friends in order to collect your child, getting out of bed on the weekend after a long work week to make breakfast for your spouse, listening and supporting a friend even as she repeats the same mistake – the “little” but significant attention offered willingly and lovingly.

To cease doing love is when we take love for granted.

The test of love can thus be this – Are we consciously attending to our loved ones, to their physical, psychological and emotional needs? Are they to us?

This I know, loving inspires love.

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Intentions

change socrates
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I referred to intentions in my last post about change.

Well my intentions are simple.  I intend to pay greater attention to and be more aware of the changes happening in my life. To elaborate, to appreciate their essence and the implications they have for my life.

This is not wishful intention, for I have experienced the magic of paying attention.  I am a perfectionist, well less so than before, which manifests herself in the energy paid to the minutiae and details in many aspects of my life.  The assumption is if I constantly watch them, then I can recognize any negatives and deal with them before worse occurs.  What had in fact occurred, as any fear-based actions are likely to do, was me, being worrisome, tense and lacking in humour. 

cannot change

What I failed to realize was that paying attention to the negatives only reinforced the negatives.  And a negative mindset ultimately dwells in one who is discontent, anxious and always questioning. 

Active attention brings change. My energy is better spent on enriching, uplifting and positive matters than worrying about ‘what ifs’ or ‘if onlys’.

My once resentful discontent self chose instead to begin paying attention to herself, to exercise loving attention on me.  Change can only begin with me, at least the change I want to see in my life.

self love

The magic of paying attention brought me here…to the sacred space where I can stand at the centre of attention; to a mindful place where judgment is not welcomed; to love myself ‘warts and all’ :-); to embracing my desires and passions;…to my writing and blogs.

change socrates

Where are you focusing your energy?

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

It’s a process, not an event

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change

A new year, and there is much exhortation to discard the old, the ill-founded, the undesirable, the staid for a different path, a brighter future…change.

If not the impetus of the new year, at some point this has or will inevitably happen – we long for, and many of us will stride forth to manufacture, change – change for the better – for less pain, more happiness, less boredom, more excitement, less busy, more leisure, more solitude, and so on.

And if you are like me, we also seek some form of confirmation, of that moment of change when we can identify it has come, that somehow our life is now not what it used to be.

Ironically, change has been, is and will be occurring. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”

The question is do we recognize change, and if not, why not? How did we fail to appreciate it?

  • It’s a matter of attention

In our minds filled with memories, we are still fixated with our old stories – old values, old strictures, old beliefs, old ideals – and our life continues to be reflected from them such that we could not see the ‘new’ or the ‘altered’. Old habits die hard.

Sometimes, change does not occur with the ‘new’ substituting ‘old’, sometimes ‘new’ is added or ‘new’ is an altered state. It is easy to not notice this expansion in experience, especially when we are not looking out for it.

We can be so busy ‘questing’ and stuck with certain goals in mind; and then fail to appreciate the moments which indicate movement, progress, change.

Sometimes we simply are not present to our moments, to the near imperceptible difference that is happening in our lives…all the time.

  • A witness to our life

I had a conversation with a long-time friend who said she has noticed my journey of personal growth and development, my conflicts and struggle for self-awareness and to make a difference in the world I inhabit.

Having a witness to our life makes us aware of change…someone who is on the journey alongside us and will tell us our story, our evolving story in those moments when we fail to see, those moments of doubt. A witness who will attest to the heartbreaks and disappointments, our struggle and also our accomplishments and our joys.

To quote a line from the 2004 movie “Shall we dance?”:

‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’

  • It’s a gradual process

Another reason why we may not recognize the change in our life may be our expectation. Change is rarely a momentous occasion but a gradual process. Thus my friend’s view of the change in my life is not in naming an occasion but identifying a journey.

And the interesting thing about life is, we make choices in every moment of our life and each of these moments create a different future – change. Are we present to these choices we make? Do we appreciate their significance?

It is imperative that we be present to what is, to be conscious to the choices we make, and pay attention to and be open to our life experience expanding. Change is moving through our life, we just have to be present and see it.

Change is a process, not an event.

I am not one who makes new year resolutions. I have ‘new’ intentions – to pay greater attention to the choices I make and be more present to the changes occurring in my life.

What are your intentions this year?

 – FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Sometimes…

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Forlorn desolate

Sometimes
We fail to pay attention
Fail to perceive the changes
Fail to see the ones we love
 

Sometimes
We fail to rein in
The thoughts in our heads
The images in our mind
 

Sometimes
We fail to recognize
The life we have missed
The ones we love and lost
 

It is then we notice
What we have left
The remnant of a life
Too late to regain.
 

-FlorenceT

 

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Begin it now

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Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. Begin it now.     Goethe

Have you ever wanted something so much that you are too scared to begin, just in case it proved to be a disaster? Just in case you find out you are actually not so good at it, just in case ‘it’ turns out to be a dud, just in case …

Or have you, despite knowing you can, not begin because it would require change in your life, which is in itself, let’s be honest, a scary thing.

The irony is, our lives are changing anyway – as I write this and as you read this – perhaps not in the momentous occasion we usually envisage change to be, with a capital ‘C’ and drums heralding its arrival; but more likely in miniscule steadfast steps.

A few years ago when reflecting on my life, I saw the changes in my life that had crept up when I was not paying attention.  Some welcomed, some less so.  Some got me angry – at all the ‘I wish’ that I had not begun. I wondered then whether I would be willing to be in the same place in another few years, feeling the same anger and still saying “I wish”. Not really…

In a moment of clarity, I decided I would pay attention to the years coming. I chose to begin something of my heart’s desire instead of just imagining it. I am not naïve, I knew the price I had to pay – change in how I live each day and also change for my family. I did not know if it would be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ change. I was not seeking to judge and perhaps pre-empt, only to let it unfold. I was beginning as boldly as I could, and excited to see where it would lead.

Years down the track, I hope to remark with a little surprise at how my life has indeed changed and to reflect on the paths I have consciously chosen when upon the forks on my road.

And so I have begun. I am still not wholly certain if I can, nevertheless I choose to be bold and begin. Perhaps along this journey, I will discover the genius and power and magic in it (or its fallacy, yikes!). Though the very act of beginning already feels empowering and a little magical!

So, what will you begin now?