Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Samhain/Halloween!

May the ancestors deliver blessings on you and yours...
May the new year bear great fruits for you...
May your granted wishes be as many as the seeds in a pomegranate...
May the slide into darkness bring you light...
May the memories of what has been keep you strong for what is to be...
May this Samhain cleanse your heart, your soul, and your mind!
--- traditional Samhain blessing

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Butch/Femme Photo Project In It's First Gallery Show!

I am so happy to announce that the first eleven photographs in the Butch/Femme Photo Project will be featured in TransConnect Resource and Cultural Fair gallery show titled "Femme, Butch, Queer & Trans Intersection" at the Portland Q Center next month! They will be hanging at the Center for the entire month of November and ten of the eleven pieces will be a part of a silent auction to raise funds for the Q Center and the Order of Benevolent Bliss’ working and grants funds!

If you're in the area, the gallery show and reception will take place on Saturday, November 17th at 5pm. Come by, say hello and check out the photographs in print form!

Below is the flyer with all of the information on the Fair's happening.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Where My Thoughts Are Lately

Photo by Del Rapier
I know I've been pretty quiet lately. I haven't been prioritizing writing at all lately and I miss it. Terribly. But, lately when I sit down to write I don't even know where to start so I sit there in front of the screen completely frozen. So, this morning I'm just going to get some things out. Things that have been in my head as of late.

Lately, I've found myself re-reading my last post over and over again. Moments when I feel less secure or when I feel myself slip back into old relationship patterns. The ones that are dictated by my fear of abandonment. The fear I've carried since those first 5 days in this plane of existence.

I've been immersed in Brene' Brown's book about shame titled "I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't)" and it's brought up a lot of stuff for me. Mostly, it's sort of putting the pieces of the puzzle together in that I can more clearly see the feelings that surround that fear of abandonment. Shame, feelings of not being enough, unlovable, and unnecessary. Being vulnerable with someone I love can be terrifying because of that fear of abandonment. What if they see all of me and fall out of love or discover they never really loved me in the first place? Not being vulnerable with them makes me feel 10 million miles away from them when all I want is to be close and feel connected.

We all just want to belong and to be loved.

Even as I type this I can hear this voice in the back of my head teasing me and taunting me about feeling this way. "No one wants to see this dribble. Who cares how you feel. Stop being so weak and suck it up."

Then my rational side kicks in and reminds me that this is being vulnerable and that being vulnerable takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength. It's not about weakness at all. Also, stay in the moment. Remember what you wrote about love and having forever with yourself? That if you get that forever with someone else, it's a bonus? Enjoy these moments. Be here now.

Let the stories of your past go. Don't let them dictate your future.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lessons of Love

It's taken me almost 43 years on the planet but I've finally learned some lessons about love. Granted, I'll be continuously reminding myself of these lessons and I'm constantly learning more, but I feel as though I'm finally "getting" it.

The most important lesson of them all, and the one I'm going to write about now, is that the idea of "forever" really only pertains to my relationship with myself. It sounds cliche' but it's true that you have to love yourself before you can expect anyone to love you. I sometimes have to work on this minute by minute but in those difficult times, I do come around to the idea and give myself gentle reminders.

I've always believed in "the one" yet always struggled with the how and why and when. How can I believe in forever if I can't find the one? How do I find the one? Why doesn't she seem to exist? If she does, when do I get to the forever with her?

Each time I've fallen in love I've done it completely and whole heartedly, so why isn't the forever happening?

The forever didn't happen because I confused falling in love with "making myself the person you want to be with" and thereby negating the person that I truly am inside. It took 40 years for me to figure that out so I'm still discovering who I am. Luckily, I've found someone who is doing the same sort of inner work and so far we're a good match. 

In the past 3 years I feel like I've grown by leaps and bounds as far as love and relationships are concerned. Open communication is something I struggled with inside of a love relationship but now I just want to say it, get it out there, let it be known and deal with it. I don't want to waste time playing games or feeling hurt because of something someone else did and my perception of it consumes my thoughts. Life is too fucking short to spend time doing those things when I could be experiencing more love and intimacy with my partner. The sort of intimacy that comes from communication, openness and honesty is what my heart craves.

The forever hasn't happened because it really doesn't exist with someone outside of myself. The idea of it is still amazing and awesome and something I would welcome with an open heart but my expectation of it has changed. I don't expect to spend forever with anyone but myself. (Forever meaning the rest of my days on this planet, just to be clear.) If I do end up getting to spend forever with someone then bonus! But, the intensity of the love that needs to be there in order for that to happen has to start with me. I have to love myself that intensely before I can expect anyone else to be able to do the same.

Bottom line is, the only moment I have in this life is this one. To experience it, I mean fully experience it, I have to be here for it. Mind, body and soul. I have to be fully present in it and be grateful for the love I have in this moment. Everything else is just a dream. As the saying goes, the past is gone and the future is but a dream. All we have is the present.

Or something like that.

I think this says it best; “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

Of course, all of this is in the forefront of my thoughts because I've recently made the leap of moving in with my girlfriend officially official. By that I mean that I've finally changed my address at all of the "important" places. I've perceived it as a scary thing for me based on what's happened to me in the past once I've gotten to this point. Yes, the past is good for lessons but it's important not to cling too tightly to those lessons that don't encourage growth. Hopefully that makes sense. My past love life taught me to be cautious and caused me to build quite the wall around my heart but by doing that I miss out on so much. I could hang on to that perspective and continue to love with a cautious heart or I could change my perspective and find a way to experience more love within a relationship. This is what I'm doing with this relationship and it's been incredibly good for me. There are still times when I find myself falling into that walled up place but I'm continuously getting better at recognizing it, thankfully.

Now I'm rambling but bottom line is I'm so grateful for these lessons, for this moment and for this love.

It's all very good stuff.