Tag Archives: love

Time of Waiting in Amsterdam

I can only say I have waited for you
through western nights
at bus stops
in lanes
by canals
on airfields
and the gallows of tears

And then you came
through the forlorn cities of Europe
I recognized you
I set out the table for you
with wine with bread with mercy
but imperturbably you turned your back
you detached your sex, laid it down on the table
and without speaking a word
with your own smile
abandoned the world

—  by Ingrid Jonker

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The House

Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women; kitchen of lust, / bedroom of grief, a bathroom of apathy. / Sometimes, the men – they come with keys, / and sometimes, the men – they come with hammers. ~ Warsan Shire

Does it sound alarmingly like this? It does to me.

A woman should be a cook in the kitchen, a lady in the parlor, and a whore in the bedroom

But then again I’m paranoid and overthinker. You know…

A person who thinks all the time
Has nothing to think about except thoughts
So… he loses touch with reality
And lives in a world of illusions
By thoughts I mean specifically, Chatter in the skull
Perpetual and compulsive repetition
of words, of reckoning and calculating
I’m not saying that thinking is bad
Like everybody else
It’s useful in moderation
A good servant, but a bad master
And all civilized peoples
Have increasingly become crazy and self-destructive
Because through excessive thinking
They have lost touch with reality
That to say…
We confuse signs
With the real world…
This is the beginning of meditation
Most of us would have
Rather money than tangible wealth
And a great occasion is somehow spoiled for us unless photographed
And to read about it the next day in the newspaper
Is oddly more fun for us than the original event
This is a disaster…
For as a result of confusing the real world of nature with mere signs
We are destroying nature
We are so tied up in our minds that we’ve lost our senses
Time to wake up
What is reality?
Obviously… no one can say
Because it isn’t words
It isn’t material, that’s just an idea
Reality is…
The point cannot be explained in words
I’m not trying to put you down
It’s an expression of you as you are
One must live…
We need to survive to go on…
We must go on.

I’m getting sidetracked again. Heard this one somewhere but I’ve have forgotten it and remember just now. It supposed to be something about meditation or something but listening to it made me jumpy and edgy and itchy. Like yoga, it makes me more nervous than I ordinarily am. But let’s go back to the topic at the beginning of this post about rooms and lust and lady and whores which put another idea in my head about a knight in shining armor that in reality just an ordinary bloke in tin foil.

In my experience, conscious or unconscious, men, in general, expect women/girlfriends/wives to be surrogate mothers if not parents, organizers, housekeepers, psychiatrists chefs chauffeurs jack of all trades and above all vessels for their lineage and co-breadwinners and a whole lot more while looking like a pin-up model 24/7 opening the door for them when they come home, a glass of something strong in hand and ready for a good tumble in the hay, all of that without complain. They never consider the possibility that maybe we want a male version of what they expect but you will never find/read/heard something like this: A man should be a cook in the kitchen, a gentleman in the parlor, and a gigolo in the bedroom plus an Onassis when it comes to financial capital  and a true blooded prince when it comes to pedigree anywhere because of what else but double standard it is.

Keys or hammers, change locks before they come and don’t let them too close if you value your core and your sanity. Close but not close enough to do some damage that could never be repaired. We have a saying in my country that when it comes to loving someone, don’t give your all. Leave/save some for yourself in case so you will be able to bounce back no matter what. And if they come as Thor, buy the biggest magnet you can find and take away their hammer, but not before you hit them hard on the head to cause enough amnesia.

Till next time.

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10 Good Reasons Not to Contact your Ex.

I know how it goes. I have been there, and I will probably be there again.

You’re sitting around, usually at night, and you’re alone.

Earlier that day, maybe something reminded you of them—a song popped up on a playlist, a girl in line at Target looked like her, a mutual friend brought up his name. Being reminded of your ex can happen in a million different ways, and when it happens we can’t stop thinking about them: the good times we shared, the amazing sex, all the things we should have done, everything that still remains unsaid.

It can be easy to fool ourselves into thinking that maybe they were “the one” and they got away.

That’s when we take to social media to find them again and see what they’re doing, or if they’re single, or if the new partner is hotter than we are (they always are). We may still cherish their number in our phones, or start poring over old texts and emails, looking for a sign that there’s still some kind of a connection.

Next, it’s tempting to re-initiate contact with them. Tempting probably isn’t even a strong enough word. This is closer to how an addict in recovery feels. You want the old high back. Like when you first met. So what to do? Call, text, email, Facebook message, comment on one of their Instagram pictures?

None of the above.

I say leave it alone, because realistically it’s rare that a relationship can be rekindled successfully. So here are my 10 good reasons not to contact your ex:

Pride.

When my ex fiancé dumped me, I made a vow never to contact him again because I didn’t want to be the pleading, pathetic, crazy-looking ex. I’d lost a lot with that relationship, but the one thing I knew I could keep was my dignity, and in the midst of a really bad time, that felt good.

We don’t always need “closure” for everything,

and chances are we aren’t really going to get it. The need for whatever closure is, is actually a need to control our circumstances. Accept that we have no control, and live in peace. Allow the distance and separation to heal old wounds, rather than reopening them under the guise of seeking “closure.”

The past no longer exists.

It’s gone. We’ve already lived those moments and replaying them in our heads isn’t healthy or realistic. Don’t dwell on what lies behind you and don’t try to manipulate a future that is based on past expectations. Keep moving forward one present moment at a time. Let life unfold as it will and be pleasantly surprised.

They are exes for a reason.

Chances are, there were plenty of valid reasons why the relationship ended, and most likely, all of those reasons are still there. People rarely change as much as we want or need them to. I realize this sounds cynical, but it’s unfortunately true and it’s better to play it safe and stay away rather than reopen that Pandora’s box of dysfunction.

Resist the urge to write yourself in as the hero of your own tragic love story.

The plots of most romantic comedies involve star-crossed lovers who are continually prevented from being together for a variety of ridiculous reasons, until the end of the story when they finally realize they are meant to be. There is usually a big, climactic declaration of love that takes place at an airport at the last minute before someone is about to leave forever as if phones and emails don’t exist. Good for entertainment, totally ridiculous for real-life, healthy relationships. You are not living in a movie, so stop acting as if you are.

It’s okay to let go.

Period. Think of how light and free you will be. The feeling of finally being over something is ecstasy. Celebrate the miracles yet to come.

We always view the past through a lens of idealism.

We tend to remember the good stuff, and dismiss our ex’s irritating, annoying, or just plain awful qualities. Hindsight has a way of softening things. Try to be realistic about how much of a jerk you thought he was while you were a couple. Think about some of her truly unacceptable behaviors. Don’t get mixed up in that again.

Our exes aren’t really our soulmates.

I don’t really believe in the fairy-tale idea that we have one true love. I think we have several potential soul mates and in a lifetime we can have a lot of different kinds of romantic experiences. The soul mate myth holds us back and keeps us from having a more open mind and open heart about other people and other types of love that are waiting for us to enjoy and learn from.

This is usually more about our own egos than it is about loving someone else.

When we feel compelled to reach out to an old flame, before we act impulsively, it’s a good idea to look at what may be the real underlying cause of our urge. Are we feeling insecure, disappointed, or sad about something? Do we think that maybe this person can help us feel better about ourselves or validated in some way? We likely miss the comfort and familiarity of an old relationship. Do we just want to see if we still “have it” or do we potentially like the sense of power we may be able to yield over our ex’s attraction for us?

Someone is probably going to get disappointed.

Case in point, that time my favorite ex contacted me, for God knows what reason, and I got all excited and thought he was going to profess undying love for me, but instead he asked me if I wanted to have dinner with him and his new girlfriend the next time he was in town, which is absolutely not my idea of a fun-filled evening. It’s possible that we may contact our ex out of curiosity, or friendliness, or to apologize, without seeking to reconcile a relationship with them. But what if they’ve been hoping all along to hear from us and to be with us again? It is unkind to potentially mess with someone’s head this way. On the other hand, what if we are getting back in touch because we are still looking for a relationship, only to find that they are no longer interested? We should try to spare ourselves that suffering too.

When we once had a connection with someone it can be difficult to extinguish that spark, even if it existed more in our imagination than in reality. But it’s important to evolve bravely rather than cling stubbornly to past relationships. Let them be completed, and move on rather than trying to go back and contact ex-loves.

~by Victoria Fedden

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THE WEATHER OF LOVE

Love
Has a way of wilting
Or blossoming
At the strangest,
Most unpredictable hour.
This is how love is,
An uncontrollable beast
In the form of a flower.
The sun does not always shine on it.
Nor does the rain always pour on it
Nor should it always get beaten by a storm.
Love does not always emit the sweetest scents,
And sometimes it can sting with its thorns.
Water it.
Give it plenty of sunlight.
Nurture it,
And the flower of love will
Outlive you.
Neglect it or keep dissecting it,
And its petals will quickly curl up and die.
This is how love is,
Perfection is a delusional vision.
So love the person who loves you
Unconditionally,
And abandon the one
Who only loves you
Under favorable
Conditions.

― Suzy Kassem

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April Love

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot

Why it reminds me of a May-December love affair? Or a gigolo manipulating and conning older women for personal gain? Or the grandmother of D. who fell in love with her nurse and holds onto her unshakable faith in his innocence and integrity even after he was convicted and found guilty of cheating his patients out of their money and valuables. Or my mother falling head over heels with one of my boyfriends she was inconsolable and remained in bed for three weeks on ends when he and I broke up. She refused to cook since then till the day she died. Funny people.

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February – the month of love is the shortest one in the calendar.

Funny that the month we globally associated with the most powerful emotion of all featured imprisonment execution and martyrdom. Come to think of it, it sounds a lot like a marriage, don’t you think so?

If Valentine day is a place it would be Paris, the city of love with its catacombs, network of dark tunnels and more than six million human remains. A fitting allegory for the most complicated of all relationships__ romantic love.

Where everything is not what it seems and open for interpretation. No wonder there is a lot of broken out there. Broken hearts, broken vows, broken marriages, and so forth and so on.

Here is a quote I find quotable:

“February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.” 

― Anna Quindlen

There you go.

Happy Love month people.

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Everything Is A choice

“You know how sometimes you tell yourself that you have a choice, but really you don’t have a choice? Just because there are alternatives doesn’t mean they apply to you.”

― Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

It is a good excuse to tell yourself when you are terrified of flying out into the unknown. I’ve been there done that. Officers of the law, social workers, lawyers, and well-meaning people including a taxi driver on my way to the airport who told me that I don’t have to stay with that man because look at me, I look like a doll and there are lots of guys who are going to happily fall in line just to get me had advice yours truly to take the money and run or just run.

I didn’t.

Picture this: A poor pregnant immigrant girl in a strange land, or a very young mother of two; no family, nowhere to go, she doesn’t speak the language, no diploma, no work, no money. Going back home is not an option. Her family made sure she understands this. The husband warned her of the consequences of trying to run away with the kids. What choices she got? What would you do in her place?

There is more to life than this.

A policeman once told her while kneeling in front of her holding her shaking hands looking her in the eyes with a strange mixture of appeal, pity and something she didn’t understand amidst the devastation her drunken husband had caused the night before in their rented apartment. She heard the words but its meaning was lost to her. It was like watching a film, a fairy tale, she knew the place probably exists somewhere but far away, and not for her. Never for her. So, she just smiled and nod and closed the door. This is the reality she thought. This is her world. This is where she belongs…

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I Was in an Abusive Relationship & Didn’t Know It.

Do you know the boiling frog story?

If a frog is placed in cold water and the heat is slowly turned up, the frog does not realize that it is in danger—until the water reaches the boiling point, and then it is too late for the frog.

I have been the frog in cold water, with the water slowly heating up.

I’m lucky. I got out before it reached the boiling point.

There is no way I am going back in.

Abuse is not always physical and it is not always obvious. Emotional abuse leaves scars that are silent and hidden.

My experience of verbal and emotional abuse left me feeling worthless and hopeless. My already low self-esteem diminished even further. I spent most days confused about what it was I had actually done wrong. I walked on eggshells, attempting to avoid tension and conflict. I tried to make sense of my relationship; I tried to fix myself. I put on a mask to navigate the outside world.

I retreated further into myself to avoid seeing my reality. I felt off-center. I no longer knew who I actually was.

My experience did not involve black eyes, broken bones or bruises, but what I did experience wounded me on the inside. Most of the damage lay with losing all sense of self.

Wounds have become scars. Occasionally, the scars still bleed.

They are a reminder to call on all I’ve learned since I walked out the door.

To bring myself back to center and trust in myself.

I am healing.

Not only from the years of being in a domestic violence relationship but from my experiences since birth that led me to stay in such a toxic union for so many years. The experiences that led me to believe I was not worthy of love and respect.

My relationship did not begin with my being called a useless bitch, a fat lazy cow and a worthless piece of shit.

If that had been the case, I doubt I would have gone out with him.

He loved me. He whispered words that made me feel cherished and secure. Worthy. Worthiness based on his approval of me. Approval I had never given to myself.

I loved him. We laughed together; I felt comfortable and safe with him.

I did not listen to the quiet voices in my head—the sick butterflies in my body that quivered and tried to make me aware.

No. I was the tough one who proclaimed that if anyone ever hit me I would leave.

Except he never actually hit me.

Pushing someone isn’t hitting.

Besides, I pushed back.

I yelled back. I fought back.

The abuse crept in slowly and stealthily.

It was subtle.

I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t know it.

I was not aware of the depth of the trauma and damage I experienced until months and even years after I left.

My reasoning for all the fighting, for being so desperately unhappy?

“I wasn’t being abused, because I wasn’t being hit.”

My feelings were denied and minimized.

I was told it was all my fault.

I was told I was ungrateful for what was provided.

I was told I did not deserve affection and that I had to earn it.

I was told I did nothing all day.

I was told that I was the one destroying our relationship.

I was told I was useless. I was told I was useless. I was told I was useless.

Over and over and over and over.

And I stayed.

I believed him. I believed his version of the truth.

I stopped fighting back.

I stopped pushing back.

I stopped calling him names.

I became numb to my experience.

Numb to stop the anxiety, despair, and frustration I felt.

Depression was my protection.

There were days my body collapsed when I got out of bed. The physical pain in my feet and legs stopped me from walking. From supporting myself. From facing the day ahead.

I did not trust myself and my inner voice. I stopped listening to any whispers that remained.

I succumbed to what I believed I deserved.

I believed this was how I would live my life forever.

I did not plan to leave this relationship. In the months before I did leave, my thinking had slowly started to shift. There were moments of clarity. Moments of questioning.

I was in counseling, and I believe that this support was the pathway out of my confusion.

I also opened up to a couple of trusted people close to me. I revealed to them the reality of my relationship. Voicing my reality helped me to see it with more clarity.

I approached a women’s refuge for advice. I was fully expecting to be turned away. I thought, “I’m not one of those women who is hit.”

I was not turned away. These two women sat and listened to me. They spoke with me about what a domestic violence relationship was. I opened up, even more, that day. My thinking shifted again.

The facade was starting to crack.

I was using my voice, and I was being heard.

My new life began when I left my relationship. When I finally realized I was living with a man who—still to this day—believes he is entitled to exert power and control over me.

I can still be pulled out of my center and into his reality, but the majority of the time I live with my truth. I live with the knowledge of my own power and freedom.

It has taken every ounce of strength and courage within me to be able to look at myself and the role I played. And I did play a role. My low self-esteem, my lack of self-love, my belief that I did not deserve more than what I was receiving. It took honesty and authenticity to face myself. To bring my healing back to me. To change me. To love me.

I am proud to see my growth in the years since I left my relationship. I am able to recognize when I am being a victim.

I witness myself.

I have owned and taken responsibility for what is in my awareness.

I have learned to set boundaries.

I have learned I cannot always control what happens to me but I am in control of my reaction.

I acknowledge my darkness and my light.

I have discovered my worth.

I recognize my value.

I am compassionate with myself.

I give myself permission to get it wrong.

I forgive myself for the times I did not get it right.

I am learning to trust my truth, my inner voice, my intuition.

I honor my feelings and allow myself space to drop into what I feel.

I continue on my journey of healing.

Most of all, I continue on my journey of learning to love myself—all of me, including my shadows.

I am lucky. I did not become a frog in boiling water. I got out.

Many women don’t.

I hope that in sharing my experience I will give another woman the courage to trust her inner voice.

To question if she is living her reality, or another person’s.

To open up a pathway out of the confusion she feels every single day.

To find the freedom to be happy and live without a knot in her stomach every morning.

To find her voice and share her experiences.

The clarity to see that abuse does not always involve physical violence.

The right to live a life without abuse in any form.

I want you to know that you are worthy and you deserve to live your life without fear and confusion. You deserve respect, love, and kindness.

Your voice matters. Your feelings matter. You matter.

~Lisa Ambrose

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My Home Found A New Owner

He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.

If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.

Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.

But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.

I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.

Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.

I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.

And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.

Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.

And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a past,
a lesson,
a told story,
an ending example.

But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
a future.

He looks at you
the same way

I see him.

So please,
take care of him.

-Mica Meñez 

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Among My Souvenirs

There’s nothing left for me
Of days that used to be
They’re just a memory
Among my souvenirs
Some letters sad and blue
A photograph or two
I see a rose from you
Among my souvenirs
A few more tokens rest
Within my treasure chest
And, though they do their best
To give me consolation
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs.
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