Having a Spirit pizza party

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 20

I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me. 

I have been in and out of this journey over the past few days, but came back this morning and focused on Principle 10, even though I technically should be back at Principle 1. There was something important for me to get from this, so I settled in and really concentrated on the notion that Spirit within creates opportunities for prosperity. Like on day 10, I don’t accept that Spirit causes prosperity outright, but instead is constantly finding opportunities for prosperity to arrive in my life, provided I let them in. 

After meditation I trolled my Instagram feed and saw this post from Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Big Magic” and “Eat, Pray, Love,” and it could not be apter:Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.57.06 AM

I am all for eating pizza and drinking wine and taking naps and dog selfies, and I know this was tongue in cheek, but I want to work for my money. I want to take opportunities that make me uncomfortable, to push through my fears and to create something that I can be proud of. And the money will follow. I think Spirit throws balls of opportunity into the air and my role is to be at ease enough to catch them. These opportunities may take the form of a conversation with a stranger on the 2 train over a bracelet made in Niger. They may take the form of a friend from way back, offering bags of vintage clothes right before I’m about to have a big trunk sale. They may be distant connections helping me find people to interview for a research job. All of these things are uplifting but all of them required some effort on my part. If I hadn’t spoken to the man on the train, if I didn’t make time for a 50-minute subway ride out to Brooklyn, if I didn’t ask for help from people I don’t know very well, none of these things would be real. And that is what makes me feel prosperous. I can feel opportunities building on each other, getting bigger and that is awesome. I don’t want to sit back and eat pizza unless the pizza comes afterward, as a reward for doing the work that Spirit put in front of me to do.

Three days and a skip

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 11

God is lavish, unfailing abundance, the rich omnipresent substance of the universe. This all-providing source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me – the reality of me. 

Have you ever done an image search on “cosmos”? I did after meditating on today’s Principle and the results made me smile. I have a new respect for the guys who painted stars and swirling bits of constellations and perfect planets on the sides of their vans.

The substance of the universe are these swirling bits, and one the rare nights I have seen the Milkey Way, I’ve seen it. This substance is what makes up blades of grass and water droplets and crow’s feathers and me. We truly are all one, tied together by the cosmic substance that makes up the universe and everything in it.

Day 12

I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the divine presence I am is the source and substance of all my good. 

I focused on the physicality of lifting my mind and heart yesterday. It is true that this work makes me feel expansive, with my chest actively opening up when I breathe in God. The act of lifting up, my eyes, my thoughts, my chest, makes things seem much clearer. I can see how awareness and understanding come out of this clarity.

I practiced this while riding the subway today and I could swear I saw farther down the car than is possible. Everything was perfectly clear and I saw people shine from the top of their heads. It was a far cry from the days when I shuddered to enter a train and felt hemmed in by bodies and souls each time I rode one.

Day 13

 I am conscious of the inner presence as my lavish abundance. I am conscious of the constant activity of this mind of infinite prosperity. Therefore, my consciousness is filled with the light of truth. 

Day 14

Through my consciousness of my God-self, the Christ within, as my source, I draw into my mind and feeling nature the very substance of Spirit. This substance is my supply, thus my consciousness of the presence of God within me is my supply.

After reading this a few times, I decided I could shorten it to “My consciousness of God within is my supply,” which makes for an easier statement to meditate on.

Yesterday I didn’t have a good afternoon or evening. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to do but had procrastinated throughout the day rather than being efficient and just getting on with it. I also ate sugar in the afternoon (Trader Joe’s fig bars) and the subsequent crash left me feeling empty and blasé. It felt like I put a heavy, wet blanket on God’s constant activity and the stillness left me feeling dislocated and lost. I was floating in gray aspic. I didn’t like it at all.

I haven’t been giving these meditations the attention they need over the last few days and I think that was the biggest contributor to my darkness. Like with the marathon training, I have to do my part so God can do his/hers. I have to do this work with clear eyes and a full heart, otherwise, it will be a blip in my life. I do not want that.

Perpetual cheese, perpetual money

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 10

I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only Cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me. 

I would like to change “Cause” to “Source in this Principle. I don’t read “cause” as an impetus, a beginning or a source, but instead as a result or an outcome. For example, the Grand Canyon was formed (caused) by the Colorado River (source). God within is the source of my prosperity. That seemed important for me to clarify. Not sure why…

When thinking specifically about finances, I don’t want to place too much emphasis on the actual money part. I trust that the source of money is within, and it is my responsibility to be open to opportunities to give and receive it. I want to be active in my own prosperity, not feel like God is the only cause, the only reason, I am prosperous.

Revisiting the analogy from Day 2 and 3, God is the cheese station that automatically provides all I could ever want, whenever I want it. God doesn’t cause the cheese to appear (he isn’t the caterer), God is the cheese, always. The cheese is perpetual. The money is perpetual. It is up to me to be open to the cheese, to recognize that the cheese is there, to take the cheese and share the cheese and trust that the cheese will be there tomorrow and the next day, whenever I want it. The money is perpetual. The money is there to take and share, whenever I want it. God within is the source of that money.

These last 10 days have been challenging. The Principles are challenging in their audacity and I have been surprised at the feelings they have brought up. I still have some blockages, as today’s post shows in clear light. Tomorrow I start over with Principle #1 and go through the process again. It will be interesting to see if I feel differently.

I will say that the work has already had an effect on me. A few days ago, I was told that I couldn’t hold an event at the venue I had my heart set on and made the conscious choice to open my heart to other venues. I simply asked for the right place to present itself to me, and yesterday, it did. Interestingly, it came as a result of another choice I made, this one to shake off disappointment and stay open instead of shutting down. I wound up having a wonderful birthday because I dropped my expectations of what I wanted it to be and just let it be what it was. Turns out, I had more fun, more surprising and uplifting conversations, more connection with people and more love than I had had in years. It felt abundant and I am so grateful.

Relaxing into knowledge

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 9

When I am aware of the God-Self within me as my total fulfillment, I am totally fulfilled. I am now aware of this Truth. I have found the secret of life, and I relax in the knowledge that the Activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life. I simply have to be aware of the flow, the radiation, of that Creative Energy, which is continuously, easily and effortlessly pouring forth from my Divine Consciousness. I am now aware. I am now in the flow. 

It’s my birthday today and this Principle is my present. I read it, took it in and then went outside, which until yesterday was still snow covered from the blizzard two weeks ago. I breathed in the morning air and watched three white-tailed deer run up the hill behind my house while the sun just starting to peek out behind it. Now I sit, listening to David Bowie and drinking tea while my dog snores at my feet. If this isn’t abundance. If this isn’t beautiful, heart-filling abundance, I don’t know what is.

It is the awareness that creates fulfillment and I am totally fulfilled. I love the notion of relaxing into knowledge, the opposite of trying to control the unknown or furrow out answers from imagined scenarios. The relaxation, the ease, the effortlessness is what God brings. It is what God is. It is my favorite self, living my favorite life.

Yes. The money will come.
Yes. The work will come.
Yes. The giving will come.
Yes. The women will come.
Yes. The peace will come.

God is grit

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 8

My consciousness of the Spirit within me as my unlimited Source is the Divine Power to restore the years the locusts have eaten, to make all things new, to lift me up to the High Road of abundant prosperity. This awareness, understanding and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire. 

“Restore the years the locusts have eaten” may be the most beautiful phrase I have ever read. It feels like that. When I lose hours to television, when I am actively not thinking/feeling/growing but instead choosing to numb myself, those are hours the locusts have eaten. When I give in to feelings of pity or envy and become a small, pointy version of myself, the locusts are eating minutes and hours of my life that are not coming back. What a waste!

While meditating on the Principles, I’ve noticed that I physically curl inward when my thoughts drift. The only way I know that is because when I refocus and breathe into the God within, my shoulders instantly drop back and my chin goes up and I feel more expansive. The shift is instantaneous, making the contrast between how I was holding myself (stiff, hunched shoulders, chin tucked, shallow breathes) that much more stark. The locusts are eating!

About the High Road of abundant prosperity:
There is definitely an element of feeling lifted up by this awareness – I certainly feel lighter when I am focused on Spirit and there is something ascendant about it, but I bristled a bit at the term “high road” as it has connotations of moral judgment and exclusion. But what is wrong with moral judgment? Certainly there is a definite high road/better way of being? A way that is understanding and inclusive and loving and hopeful and giving? A way where treating your neighbor as you would yourself is a positive thing. Why was my initial reaction to think that a message from Spirit should automatically apply to everyone? Why did I feel more comfortable with a road that is dirty and humble over a high road of abundance? That’s when I realized that I was making a distinction between accessibility and applicability. The high road of abundance should absolutely be accessible to all, and it is. But reaching that road isn’t easy. It isn’t instant. It takes work, which I am doing now and will probably continue doing forever. My steps toward knowledge, acceptance and understanding are allowing me to apply the Principles to my life. My steps, my work, is what is giving me access to the higher road.

This epiphany clears a quagmire I have been muddling through for the past few days and why I didn’t blog about days 6 and 7. I was struggling with the idea of being given everything I could ever desire. The way the Principles are worded, I read that God grants any wish I could ever have, but that just didn’t seem true. I used the NYC Marathon as an example. I won a place in the lottery last year and trained all summer to be able to run the race in November. I thought a lot about the long, hard, focused training period. I did that, God didn’t. I built my stamina, God didn’t. I ran five days a week, God didn’t.  If  I said, “Jesus take the wheel” and then gone to sleep for five months, I couldn’t have finished the race. It was really bugging me that the Principles (I thought) were pushing that idea of passively giving it up to God. Even today’s statement, “This awareness, understanding and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possibly desire.” seemed quite passive. Quite spoiled.

But if God wasn’t intimately involved in my race, why did I look up, point up and say, “Thank you” when I crossed the finish line? Why was that one of the most emotional moments of my life? It was because God was inside me, helping me discover my willpower and toughness during training. He made sure my eyes were open to the beauty around me on my runs. He was the stranger in a truck, driving down a remote country road minutes after I had a spectacular fall, asking, “Are you alright?” And when I decided I’d finish my training run with my new cuts and bruises instead of getting a ride back to my car, God was that grit. God was the finish line and the work it took to get there.

The Principles aren’t saying every wish will be granted without work. We have to practice abundance every day to make it a reality in our lives and it is Spirit driving us to do that work.

Aloha and mahalo

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 5

Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the all-providing activity of the Divine Mind within me is my supply. My consciousness of this Truth is unlimited, therefore, my supply is unlimited. 

I spent a week on Kauai recently and loved it. By the end, I was picturing a life where I worked making kombucha smoothies at the Kukuiula Market, swam in the ocean, and read Tarot every day. Every time I take a vacation I do this – imagine living my life in a new place, doing things that I love without thought of making money. In my imagination, I never worry about paying rent because it, somehow, would all work out. Aloha and mahalo.

Today’s meditation brought this so much to mind. Since I am a freelancer, it is easy to get stressed out when I don’t know when my next job will come. I have three stages of panic that I typically go through:

Stage 1: I finish a job and feel free. “Now that I am not working all the time, I’ll go to museums and figure out how to finally sell my vintage clothing collection and exercise at 4pm, my favorite time to go to the gym!” I figure that I will have time to meditate and read my cards and relax into who I really am as I look for the next project.

 Stage 2: After a week of relaxing, I start to panic. What if I never work again? What if I’m no good? What if my references say awful things about me? The voices in my head start working overtime and I find myself trolling LinkedIn for jobs I do not want but think I could get.

Stage 3: The discomfort I feel when scrambling after scraps of my old way of being – a way of being that I consciously left behind – is overwhelming. I get instantly depressed and short of breath when I think about going backward; I can feel myself starting to shut down. Fortunately, since I started this work a year or so ago, I have been able to hit pause on that depression and listen for the prompts Spirit always sends. There is always another way, but sometimes it comes quietly.

This is what is so striking about my vacation self. The person I see, when I allow myself to dream, is someone who is untroubled by money because she has enough to get by. She doesn’t crave competition or others affirming her importance and she doesn’t crave the hustle. She is driven by passion but in a calm, confident way. She is enough and the world is enough. Like water seeking its own level, there is a balance there. This is truly what abundance looks like to me.

How amazing that I have been given previews of what life could feel like all the time, not just on vacation. If I take in how the Divine Mind is constantly providing a supply of everything that creates that balance, I realize I don’t need to be in the tropics to be in paradise. It is up to me to embrace that balance no matter where I am. If I approach my life confident that abundance is ever-present, it will become so, just like when I listen to prompts that Spirit sends instead of panicking and then opportunities arise. It isn’t that Spirit/God is sending opportunities when I am looking, it’s just that I am seeing opportunities that are always there.

My supply is unlimited. Aloha and mahalo.

Love enough to swim in

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 4

Through my consciousness of my God-Self, the Christ within, as my Source, I draw into my mind and feeling nature the very substance of Spirit. This substance is my supply, thus my consciousness of the Presence of God within me is my supply.

I read this a few times and thought it was fairly straightforward: My awareness of the Source (cheese station) is the Thing (my capitalization) and the Thing is my supply for abundance.

Another way of saying it: My awareness that the cheese station is inside me, providing me with all the cheese I could ever want is what actually supplies me with the cheese.

But when I meditated on this, I quickly felt small again (this amount of love is too much!) so I pushed into that feeling to try to understand why. I have been using the cheese analogy because it is funny and light and safe (and I do love cheese), but it’s simply a cover for what I really want.

When it comes down to it, and I feel childish and needy for admitting this, I want:

  • To feel loved actively and consistently.
  • To feel important to others.
  • To feel considered by others.

Consistency was never something I had in my family. I remember a lot of drama as my parents struggled with their relationship to each other. My dad was both physically and emotionally distant and my mom was underwater much of the time. My brother and sister and I were raised to be independent and hardy types and teasing was often used as a tool to toughen us up. I hated being teased but had to suck it up, not cry and learn to either give it back or shake it off. We weren’t particularly kind to each other, so I grew up not knowing what kindness feels like. I knew I wanted it, but I couldn’t seem to manifest it in myself or others.

It’s interesting what skills you are sent out into the world with. I remember being possessive and then abruptly cutting friends off when they showed interest in anyone but me (particularly anyone new). This behavior ensured that my friends would distance themselves from me so I didn’t have to feel so hurt when they would, ultimately, leave. The sad thing is, I don’t know if anyone would have ever left on their own accord, had I been able to let my friendships develop organically.

Ultimately I didn’t think the love I gave was worth much and I couldn’t accept that I was much worth loving. It was a lose/lose and I am amazed I am still here.

When I write that I want to feel important and considered, it is both the giving and the receiving I want. I want friends and family to think of me and share that thought via a text or phone call or some tangible thing. I also want to recognize and accept the love they are already giving me. The fact is, I have friends who are active and I often let their texts go unanswered for days. Is this me retreating back to my feeling not worthy of love? Sabotaging the friendships I want so much? Excuse the language, but that shit is fucked up. I want to be considerate. I want to love my friends actively, not just when we are face to face but during the act of living and I want to feel loved by them too. That is what abundance would be to me — feeling like there was plenty of love for me. Enough to swim in. Enough love that I wouldn’t have to make due with $17.50.

When I allow myself to become very aware of Christ within as the source of all this love, I am filled with an expansive feeling of joy. It fills my chest. This must be the substance of Spirit. So this feeling is my supply of love — all the love I ever need. Enough to swim in. My God-Self is all the love I can give and receive. This will make me a better person. This will allow me to love better. This is inside me already!

God is the cheese station

I am blogging about my 40-day abundance journey using the Prosperity Principles in “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price.

Day 3

I am conscious of the Inner Presence as my lavish Abundance. I am conscious of the constant activity of this Mind of infinite Prosperity. Therefore, my consciousness is filled with the Light of Truth. 

SIDEBAR: The arbitrary capitalization of words within the Principles bugs me. I want a style guide to understand why “Mind” is capitalized but “infinite” isn’t.

food-station-ideas-01a_detailBuilding on yesterday’s analogy, that lavish abundance is like a never ending buffet of everything that one could ever want, the idea that God within is actually that buffet, not necessarily the supplier of it, but actually it, doesn’t seem so far off. God is not in charge of restocking the cheese station like a caterer at a wedding, God is the cheese station. Oh, I love that. The God within is my buffet, supplying me everything I want and need, always.

But then it goes one step further: “I am conscious of the constant activity of this Mind of infinite Prosperity.”  This makes me think that God is aways working for, thinking about and anticipating my needs. Wow. This makes me feel selfish. God has better things to do than that! It is one thing to be the provider, but quite another to be actively thinking of my needs, all the time. No one does that. Not all the time.

This process is so humbling. This historical idea that we (humans) are servants of God (creator) is flipped on its head when I think that, in this context, God is a servant of me. I half expect fire and brimstone to fly out of the keyboard as I even type that. So blasphemous.

Is this the Light of Truth? That God serves me? God provides everything I could ever need, all the time, without end, without expectation? And if God is me and I am God, do I have this capacity too?

My mind is blowing up. I love this work.

My giant goes with me wherever I go

photo by Alexandra ValentiThis week I started a 4o day abundance journey to bring more opportunities for expansion into my life. About 10 other people are doing this work together, lead by Luke Simon, a healer who I worked with years ago at a yoga retreat. We have weekly calls to check in on our progress, but the daily work is done alone.

We’re working with “The Abundance Book” by John Randolph Price and asked to meditate on a Principle each day, really focusing on the idea that prosperity comes from the God within each of us, not money or outside approval or human-made constructs intended to make us feel less than or afraid. The idea that we are God and God is us, living within each of us, shining out from each of us, is not foreign to me. It rings absolutely true, so it is not a stretch to come to these meditations in a spirit of acceptance and belief.

I want to use this blog as a journal of my reactions to the daily Principles. It is interesting that, no matter how open-hearted we come to work like this, there are lingering blocks that point us to the shadows lurking within.

DAY 1

God is lavish, unfailing Abundance, the rich omnipresent substance of the Universe. This all-providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me – the Reality of me.

“Lavish” brings to mind fin de siecle banquets and over the top wedding receptions and ennui. I think of it as wasteful and showy and not necessarily emotionally grounded, so I had an immediate reaction to the first sentence. I have never considered God as lavish, as overflowing or overabundant. My Protestant God values thrift and hard work for just what you need, no more. If you think you deserve more, you think too much of yourself. You think you are important, and that is wrong.

Remember that scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life” where the Savings & Loan customers are swarming around George Bailey, trying to get their money out during the run on the bank? And Tom wants ALL his money even though George pleads with everyone to only take what they absolutely need so his $2000 honeymoon fund can last until the bank opens? Tom, who wants his $242 and won’t settle for less, seems selfish and short sited, especially when Ms. Davis asks for only $17.50 and is hugged and kissed and celebrated for her selflessness. This is my God. My God expects me to be happy with $17.50, even though I have, and am entitled to, $242.

So the notion that God is lavish is hard for me to grasp. Why is that? I look at the beauty of nature and see lavish abundance everywhere. Sometimes the beauty is so overwhelming, so humbling, it is too much to take in. Is the difference because one is natural and one is material? That it comes down, in my brain, to human lavishness being all about what can be bought with human money vs natural lavishness being of God and therefore above money?

What if human lavishness is simply one of infinite giving? Like a buffet that provides everything you could ever want to eat or drink, forever? Imagine it is the provider’s sole purpose on earth to restock that buffet and so he/she does it without any doubt or boredom. Is it God’s purpose/our purpose to be that provider, that Source?

The thought that I, as the Source of that buffet… woah. That seems too much. How will I ever be able to be that unselfish? That giving? I can see myself as George Bailey with $2000 to share, but could I be the angel who gives everyone all the money all the time forever? Wouldn’t that get boring? Wouldn’t that reward selfishness? These are the thoughts I am having. They are giant and they don’t seem God-like at all.

DAY 2

I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the Source and Substance of all my good. 

Today’s Principle is easier for me to grasp. I am God and God is me and that God is the source of everything that is good about me — everything good that I do or think or feel comes from the God within. God made me in His image, so He must be as unique as I am. He must be as quirky as I am. As funny. As serious. I love that idea. That God isn’t one finite entity but an amalgam of all sorts of beings. There isn’t ONE Godly way to be because God is as different as each of us. When we are true to ourselves, we are true to God within us.

For the aforementioned Protestant, this is a lot to take in. Abundance seems quite cocky. Quite self-important. There are voices in my head telling me to hide these thoughts. That they are shameful and bad. Who do I think I am to put myself on par with God?

Well. I think I am a vessel for God and He made me perfect. He made me capable of giving with abundance (lavishly!) and receiving abundance with open arms and a shame-free heart. The title of this post is a favorite Emerson quote that helps me with this concept. My giant goes with me wherever I go is God both going with me and as me, always.

Heartbreak for a long ago heart breaker

We all have people from our past who rattle around the darkest corners of our brain. I have made great progress exorcising some specters in the past few years and even more progress figuring out why they were rattling in the first place. Taking memories out of dark corners and looking at them in the hard light – the eyebrow plucking light – has a way of making phantoms smaller and more transparent. 

Strangely, I am most haunted by thoughts of my ex-husband’s family. I left him and they, therefore, do not like me. I get that. I understand that. I moved to Europe after our divorce to avoid facing that in Portland supermarket aisles. But even while I got, understood and avoided, I still thought they might come around eventually. A few months before my ex and I separated, I confided in my sister-in-law that we were having problems and I was considering leaving. “If that happens, I will be so sad,” she said. “But I promise I will stay your friend because I remember how horrible it felt when Fred’s family suddenly shut me out. And he was the one having the affair!” I held on to that story and thought maybe, with time, she and I might be able to be friendly. Or, more realistically, that she would someday acknowledge my existence if I ever did run into her in a Portland supermarket. 

That never happened, and when my ex-husband died last year, the antipathy they had for me hardened into pure hate. I don’t know why. He died a few miles from home, on his way back to his soulmate — the woman he met shortly after I left. By all accounts he was happy when he died and I know he was riding his motorcycle as carefully as he always did. His death was an accident that no one witnessed and no one caused. A true, pointless act of fate. I grieved quite hard; even though we weren’t married any more, I had loved this man enough to marry him. I thought we would be together forever at one point. In the midst of the grieving, it never occurred to me that the coldness his family showed me after our separation would manifest itself in complete Katie negation. Suddenly I didn’t exist to them, had never existed to them, and therefore photographs of the ten years he and I were together didn’t exist either. Not that I thought I would show up in a memorial slideshow, but no pictures of the decade were shown at all. I was poison. I was the one who was dead. Even after that clue, I pushed myself back into their circle, sending each of his brothers, his sister and his mom pictures of their brother and son, from my photo albums. No pictures of me, but ones of him with his nieces and nephew, on family trips, hanging out doing his thing, both with them and alone. I thought they would want to hold onto images of him and felt they deserved them much more than I did. That same sister sent her photos back to me, unopened, with a typed note that said, “Do not ever attempt to contact my family again.”

And that is why they haunt me. Like putrid fumes, they show up. I find myself talking to them, yelling at them, explaining my side of the story to them. It’s guilt, manifest as ghosts. I don’t know if they will ever go away, but I hope they do, someday.

Another ghost in my brain is much nicer — the memory of the first man I ever loved in a grown up, nothing held back, passionate, tragic way. The love found in movies and song lyrics. Ironically, he made me the best mix tape perhaps of all time — because the songs were perfect for me, not songs he wanted me to hear. It was a fast relationship that came on the heels of my parent’s separation and my coming out of lopsided relationship with a man way too old for me. I was a mess, 23 and undamaged. He was charming, handsome, funny and he really seemed to like me. Me! He was also bipolar and a classic “At this moment” guy who does love you 100% at the moment he says it but not so much when someone else is around. I believed him wholeheartedly and allowed myself to fall, hard. It was glorious. And then it got messy and I got needy as he struggled with his own darkness and it ended in the Burbank airport with him singing me as song and me walking across the tarmac and up the stairs to the plane without turning back for one…last…glance. Sigh. I didn’t realize when it ended that I would never love that freely again and didn’t believe when I was hurting that I’d grow to have nothing but fondness for that firefly of a man. Not love, not regret, not in any way wanting, but fondness. 

I so rarely get visits from that friendly ghost that I was startled when his face flashed in my head during reiki a few weeks ago. No accidents, no coincidences, especially when Spirit is active and energy is moving, so I followed up about a week later with a Facebook search, fearing the worst and wondering how, if he had died, I would know from a profile page frozen in time. He was alive (good), but clearly struggling, as his posts were filled with trauma and pain. Social media is both beautiful and disgusting — by following his retroactive timeline I learned he’s been sober for several years (yeah), that he loves where he works and who he works with (also good), that his friends are his rock (yes), that he has a band again (always good) and that his wife died last year. What the hell. What the? And why was I spying?

I knew who she was, from a very brief period when he and I were friends on MySpace, years ago. They were an epic couple and were so in crazy for each other that it oozed out of the computer screen. Their love was the third person in photos of the two of them. It was a thing of wonder and I was happy for them — how could anyone not be? Love like that makes you happy to be a human (it’s possible to find! it’s possible to nurture!). Is it weird to admit that there were times when, if I thought I was taking Tom for granted, I would focus my energy and shout my love to the mountain tops, much like they did? And it always made me feel better — and I know it made Tom feel seen. Maybe that’s what they did so magically. They saw each other.

That was nearly 10 years ago, and I hadn’t checked in on them for a long, long time. And that brings me to this post. My heart breaks for a ghost. For a man I do not know. For a couple I never met. For a woman who couldn’t stay. I cannot imagine the pain and anger of being on the other side of that death. I cannot imagine keeping up stupid social media while mourning. He is still big as life to me, still bipolar, still the ghost of the my most meaningful romantic failure, but he cannot live in my real life and mourning for him feels strangely real life to me. He is impossible to compartmentalize, even after all this time. 

And that ends my stories of death and heartbreak and betrayal and grudges and ghosts. And love. It is also a story of love in all its messed up guises. The love is the light in the darkness and the only thing worth anything in all of this meaninglessness. Thank you for reading. xx