Category Archives: Think About It

Love Hurts. Yeah, Yeah.

rd2 love hurts

Imagine this.

You’re experiencing the drug-addled headiness of being “in love”. All that pesky rational thought has been effectively eliminated by a flood of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin to your brain.

Caffeine or nicotine elevate the effects of the dopamine, a serotonin surge deems you unable to match your socks, and norepinephrine sends your heart racing and your sweat glands into overdrive.

You’re a crazed and sweaty mess and couldn’t be happier. You’re experiencing a serious high unparalleled by anything from the late 1960s and unless your racing heart produces a cardiac incident (or you’re a mouthy flower with an attitude), pain is very far away.

The free fall is terrific, isn’t it? Yeah, I know. Too bad you can’t bottle it and sell it to Axe as a body spray.

Because eventually it’s over and you find yourself back on earth, stumbling from your collapsed parachute. If you’re lucky, this is where the real love begins. The sustained, but far less exciting love. The love that brings pain back into your life.

The thing is, love can be warm and fuzzy and so cute that you want to squash it. Like a puppy. But love is also a lot of work. Also, like a puppy. And I’m talking about genuine love. The kind that will NOT be confused with keeping score or filling a void, activities that would be better left to sporting events and the toilet (which are not mutually exclusive).

So what the hell is love then? I see it kinda like this:

Love is the willingness to extend yourself to facilitate the growth of a living being; to focus on its self-expression and allow it to fulfill its potential. It is a commitment to the effort that goes into accepting and understanding this being.

This being may be your partner, your sister, your planet, your child, your monkey, your monkey’s uncle, whoever. But it’s important to keep in mind that “yourself” needs to be on that list, because while the whole “you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself” adage may be hackneyed, it’s still a fundamental truth.

Whether you’re working on self-love or love for another, to truly love means you have to do it openly and honestly. No parachute. No extra norepinephrine, serotonin or dopamine. Ditch the secrets, the games, the motives and the delusions. Saddle up for reality. Because you’re gonna run into some stuff that will force you to confront, look at and evaluate your own beliefs and desires. And it could get dicey for a bit.

But as Socrates said when he quoted Plato, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” With real love comes examination. And with examination comes the C word. (Yes, change.) And that’s a process that always brings pain.

So yeah. Love hurts. And it’s a lot of work.  But I’ll take it because it’s still much less work than hate, and feels a whole lot better.


rebel daisy has returned

Last week, my amazing and supportive husband suggested I consider including illustration on my blog. I pondered this. Then pondered it some more.

Yesterday, the narcissistic trash can fire president of the United States – a small letter ‘p” president whom I shall never call “my” president – decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I pondered this. Then went and willingly banged my head against the wall.

It was at that moment – likely sparked by my husband’s suggestion, Trump’s narcissistic mind-blowing ignorance, and a slight concussion – that rebel daisy entered the room.

Who the hell is rebel daisy? Well, he’s a rebel. And a daisy. A daisy with no roots. He wears army boots and blue jeans. He’s a cut-to-the-chase kind of flower who doesn’t believe in capitalizing words. Or really any sort of capitalistic behavior. And he’s a he. So get used to it.

Nearly 20 years ago, rebel daisy walked into my life.

Or more aptly, my head. And he started seeping out of the pens and markers that occupied my hands at that time. He’s rather intrusive in that way. But he made his presence known.

rd - his nameIn those days, the internet was in its infancy and spell check software would have choked on the word ‘blog’. Even so, rebel daisy was well received in several quirky circles. So he’s decided to venture onto my ass-backward blog on mindfulness and see how he fares on the big screen.

I think it’s going to go well. And I think we can all stand to learn a little something from a renegade perennial. I know I can.

Sure, he can be a bit of a blow-hard at times. And he thinks he knows things that he really doesn’t. He could easily be president one day. Then again, he’s a well-meaning and compassionate environmentalist with some words to say, so maybe not. Anyhow, stay tuned.

Lesson number one with rebel daisy will soon commence…

Winter trees.

Spare Me the Positivity Right Now

These are dark days.

I mean, literally dark. Winter solstice and all that. In these northern climes, we just don’t have a lot of daylight hours right now. And I’d like to believe that this darkness is responsible for what I’ve been feeling lately. It is surely a factor.

I suspect, however, the looming possibility of living under a dictatorship plays a whole hell of a lot more into what I’m feeling.

I live in a racially and economically diverse city with an LGBTQ community center at its heart. Having the good fortune to attend racially and culturally diverse schools the majority of my life, I feel quite at home in such an environment. But these days, I’m around many people who are feeling sadness, hopelessness, injustice and fear. And rightly so.

Being in this open and accepting neighborhood, I also frequently encounter new-age, “just think positive” advocates who keep telling me to look on the bright side, be thankful for what I have and expect good things.

Aw, that’s nice. And with all due respect, it’s emotionally dishonest and it’s bullshit.

Continue reading Spare Me the Positivity Right Now