Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Year Later, Love Means THIS Now.

It's been exactly one year since Christopher William Jones and I kneeled down in a remote temple (of unglorious aesthetic), in the lone monk's personal quarters; on the raw cement floor; bug bites squished against the concrete; sweat pouring down our faces; my dress itching like a chipmunk in a haybale. The monk waving his water and incense around our faces as our eyes squinted closed. We listened intently to the chants as we tried to meditate our way into serenity. But the discomfort was almost too overpowering. So we chose surrender, and comfort came as we remembered the purpose of our suffering: To unite in pure, unconditional love, for always, no matter what.

This momentous (aforementioned) day - September 3, 2012 - holds more meaning to me now than it did back then. Our wedding day: Full of metaphors for the calms and storms that became our first year of marriage. The discomfort, at times so unbearable that you wonder how much more you can take; and the surrender, the quiet happiness of knowing you are loved, and that you love him no matter what, in return.

That day, there was bickering as I tried to convince him there was life at the temple; that the mangy street dogs in our way would not stop us. There was patience - oh, so much patience - as he helped me peruse the sweaty shops for a "wedding scarf." There was comradery, as we joked our way through a gag-inducing flea market, picking through rotten fruit to find edible gems for our monk. There was service, as - after a walk in the heat made anguishing by innumerable mosquito bites - Chris returned from out of a laundromat with two cold beers, and news that the folks inside would let me use their bathroom. There was excitement: An adventure across the island to get married! We were truly venturing into the unknown. There was hope, and faith, that there was a temple on the island, let alone a monk to perform the ceremony. There was support, as we kept each other's spirits afloat on a long journey to the edge of the country, at the end of which we weren't exactly sure where we'd end up.

It's obvious our life together has not been, nor will always be, easy. But it is robust; full of adventure; secure with unconditional support; demanding of awareness; illuminated by understanding, fun, fiesty, maddening, passionate, endearing and BLISSFUL.

I hear people say "he pushes me to be the best I can be," and that's never made sense until now. My darling is patient as I work out my quirks, on my way to finding my true self, while we both strive toward a more perfect partnership. He's looked inside as well to heal and to grow, and through these processes, we've become incomprehensibly close. We know each other's secrets, and insecurities; our  best traits and triumphs; our generosities and our inherent needs.

This, all of the aforementioned, is how I define love. I've never had this before, and am unspeakably grateful for it. This man who has come into my life: I love you. And I am thankful to be IN THIS with you. This LOVE. This LIFE. You are pure to me, and - with one year down - I want you to know I'll take a thousand more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

HAPPINESS Was ALWAYS Inside.

It's funny reading my past blogs, and thinking, "How was I so enlightened? I needed that advice just the other day!" It's like I've gone in and out of consciousness for the past year and a half. Sometimes, I'm elated - in love- self-assured. Others, I'm dismal, introspective, humble. I've posted about searching for answers, as well as having the answers. Nothing has been consistent. Except the inconsistency of my higher knowledge - which pops in to offer such good advice, but at such unpredictable times.

I've felt the Nirvana of knowing who I am. But it has come and gone, along with great traumas - of which, I've experienced plenty over the past year and a half - as well as moments of blissful ecstasy. 

I've done a lot of therapy. Meditation. Horse therapy. Mom advice. Counselors. I've delved so deep into my psyche - seeing things I can never audibly describe to anyone - that sometimes, I feel like a ratted twine-ball of analysis, that would more easily be swept away than patiently untangled. But the untangling is paying off. And one strand at a time, I am finding a consistency to my thoughts, my feelings; to who I am.

I quit drinking. I didn't think I had a problem - I don't drink all that often. But I realized that I'm not a one-and-done kind of drinker. I'm a none-or-10 kind of drinker. But...that's because it stresses me out to drink. I drink MORE to drown the worries about how MUCH I'm drinking (is it too much? how about the calories? will I be hungover tomorrow?), or how I'm acting (am I being overly sensitive to the conversation? how will my husband/friend/etc say I've acted tonight?), or how I'll get home.

THE FREEDOM!!!

It's awesome to know a world where I don't have to even worry about whether drinking is an option or not...it's NOT! I don't have to stress about whether or not I'll have to turn down that Sunday afternoon glass of wine...the decision is made! And my husband is equally as excited about his own sobriety, too. It's like, a new world has opened up to us, which has complex levels of fun hidden at every turn. It's not just a numb monotone; the sound of which not even all the fancy dinners and operas and hotels in the world can lift up into exalted harmony.

Getting that stress out of my life, as well as being in a job I LOVE (I'm a morning radio host now),  making time for my husband and family, playing outside, cooking and being organic is putting a tractor beam straight into my soul. I'm ME for the first time in a long time, and as I keep doing exactly what I'm doing, every day, I will solidify that TRUE ME more and more.

Crazy how out of touch we can get with ourselves. Walls upon walls, lies we tell to our innermost self, alter egos and false realities...wow, it's a scary world in there.

So step back. Breathe in. Look deep. It's scary at first, and takes extreme patience and support, but let me assure you that that big mess is just waiting to be cleaned up....only to reveal a shining marble masterpiece underneath. One that is genuinely YOU. And you, the real YOU, my dear, hold all the intuitive intelligence you'll ever need.