Sex & Love // Live

Sex is a very powerful force. It makes people feel alive.

It makes people feel alive – revived – when they’ve been left for dead. It makes people feel alive when they’ve lost all their breath and their last thoughts of love have buried six feet under.

Sex makes people feel alive when their thoughts of love have been turned to ambivalence and neglect. Sex makes people feel their deepest, darkest secrets turn to reality and it makes them become fantastical reality all in one. Even your worst memories and your worst thoughts become dreams and become hope when you find someone that makes sex into art.

Sex can be what you make it. It can be just sex when you’re with the wrong person. But, it becomes the art of lovemaking when you’re with the right person. I believe that what happens when we find that person is immediately we feel that word…“love.” A feeling that’s indescribable and unique to everyone.

After we feel, we think that, then, we’re in love and that’s true. I think when we are with the right person we are making love happen. This is a form of love and it’s okay to feel that and it’s okay to be in love in those moments. To accept that as true and to accept that as real is okay. It’s one of the most natural forms of human life. Let it exist and be true in your reality for the beauty that it is.

Explore the adventure of love in all places. Explore your sensuality. Discover the depths of your soul. The true nature of the lover that you are/can be cannot be uncovered until you have loved fully, deeply, and with a lust for life. Never be afraid to feel.

Show & Tell

“First tell yourself what kind of person you want to be, then do what you have do.” -Epictetus

Period.

When I first started seeing my therapist four years ago, we discussed the practice of mindfulness. Since then, I have done a lot of mindfulness practicing, studying, reading, writing, and talking. There are a lot of skills and tools to add to any kit you choose as your philosophical and/or spiritual guide for life. Four years ago, I picked up The Daily Stoic and I have read it every day, every year, ever since. I also journal on each each Stoic meditation each year.

What has fascinated me as years goes by is that my mind reads each mediation in a different way than the year previous. In some instances, I question why I wrote what I did; I will wonder why I didn’t annotate a part of the mediation that is, clearly, the most imperative to the piece. In some meditations, I won’t have highlighted anything, meaning (and I know this about myself), I didn’t understand it at all, and this year I just wrote two pages about it.

At one point in my journey with therapy I was doing group therapy once a week along with my individual sessions. I loved it. I always found myself putting my Stoicism to the test and my mindfulness practices to practical use. I felt a true, raw, genuine connection with that small group of people. But, when I face challenges, now, I question myself, “How? Why? I’m doing all of the right things!”

When I re-read this mediation, I reflected upon “showing, not telling, what you know.” I could rattle off a million quotes (maybe not a million) from my favorite philosophers and sound uber spiritual maaaann. That will TELL you what I’ve learned over the course of my studies; but, my actions would show something much more and probably mean something more to me.

I have learned through many trials and many errors that life and love are not all about the trying to understand and define the “why’s” and “how’s” via love languages and philosophy. Instead, it’s about absorbing that information and putting it to actual use with action, conversation, and practice no matter how uncomfortable or hard it might get.

“It’s not enough to wish and hope. One must act–act right.”

So, ask yourself today, is your bite as loud as your bark?

Pilsen, Chicago

Coffee Time

Loneliness is my weakest strength. I don’t like being without you, but being with you makes me lose myself. I am stronger as I sit on my side, sipping my coffee, without your company. I can see in myself the woman I can be as each morning passes and I spend coffee-time with myself…in my own company. But, I am weaker when I pine for your touch, the slip of your fingertip behind my ear, the bellow of your laugh from deep in your soul, the gaze from your thoughts unraveling inch-by-inch in your mind as those glossy eyes tip over your mug from the other side.

Photo by: @matthewfrancisphotography // Willow Springs, IL

We All Travel

When someone cuts me off in traffic or honks at me as soon as the light turns green, I used to get so pissed off. I would react: “Who do you think you are!? Do you think you can control me with honking?!”

I’ve learned over the years to give these people the benefit of the doubt. But, some people are just plain…rude. So, how do you deal with that? To quote Marcus Aurelius, “When you first rise in the morning tell yourself: I will encounter busybodies, ingrates, egomaniacs, liars, the jealous, and cranks. They are all stricken with these afflictions because they don’t know the difference between good and evil.”

Not everyone in the world makes the choice to change their way of thinking. They might not be ready to dive into spirituality, mindfulness, and/or whatever therapeutic devices would ease the pain of those afflictions. But, that doesn’t mean that those of us that HAVE taken steps toward a higher awareness can shame those that haven’t.

We are created for cooperation, love, and acceptance. You don’t have to love, like, or hang out with the relatives that you, simply, cannot stand. But, don’t be angry at them and don’t hate them for being who they are; they don’t know any better. It would be like being angry at a newborn baby for not knowing how to talk. That would be so mean!

It’s all about tolerance. If we wake up each day knowing that we will encounter people on a completely different path than us it makes it easier to accept that as fact. On the contrary, assuming everyone you meet is on the same journey as you, experiencing the same things in the exact same way, creates that frustration and stress because you want to be able to change the actions of other people when they don’t go your way…which is impossible and hurtful to others.

So, even though it can be so challenging, be prepared to be patient, forgiving, and understanding each day. It will make a world of a difference inside of you and to the others in your life.

Lessons with Depression

“Watch the stars in their courses and imagine yourself running alongside them. Think constantly on the changes of the elements into each other, for such thoughts wash away the dust of earthly life.” -Marcus Aurelius

I’ve never chosen to identify as having physical disabilities or to discuss much of the mental and physical suffering that has come from a trauma that happened a long time ago. When I was 24, I just wanted to move on, heal, forget about it. I’ve continued to feel that way for 7 years. Simultaneously, I continue to have these bumps along the road that make me question all the decisions that have built my path in life.

I’ve always had chronic pain, but recently it’s been unbearable. My tests showed that I have a new tear and herniation resulting from the spinal fusion I had. These means more things to “fix.”

Why can’t everything just work?

The crazy thing is: I’ve had multiple doctors tell me this spinal fusion is labeled as “failed.” It should never have been done in the first place.

But, I thought it would help me? I thought I was doing the right thing? Now, it’s in my body forever.

My depression has been consuming my earthly life as of late. I feel its wall building up, brick-by-brick, shutting me in, and the triumph that was my loneliness is now my suffocation.

I’m 31 years old and my body feels like it’s 61. I’ve had men doubt relationships with me because of my limited physical abilities. I wonder what my body will feel like when I really reach 61…will I still feel alone?

I chose to step outside on my fire escape 2 nights ago and look up at the sky and catch that feeling. It was cloudy. I felt the full effects of the gray, smoky, thick fog in the wet, cold midnight.

There was not a single star in sight; but, I knew they were there.