The Beauty of Perspective

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

I used to see the world as a very frightening place, filled with a million reasons to cry, rage, or hide myself away from it. I never trusted anyone, especially myself. My first instinct about people was always that they wouldn’t like me or that they couldn’t be trusted. I was usually correct. My first instinct in general was fear. I had grown up, believing that I was ugly, worthless, and ignorant. My perspective was clouded with the self hatred that my mother had projected onto me. I had always believed in my mother’s perspective, because I didn’t know any better. That was a terrible way to live.

In my thirties, I discovered that reality is a choice. And so I planted a voluptuous garden on top of the manure that life had given me. A feast grew from my pain. I nourished myself. I nourished any empty hands that came my way. I found a reason to live again. In that space, where I re-mothered myself, where I became my own God, I finally found the redemption that I had always been seeking. It had been quietly tucked inside of my intention and authenticity the entire time.

My life now feels like an incredible gift. I am now moving through my own creative expression and enjoying the view. I’m finding diamonds in the trees. I’m finding gold in the water. I see hope on the horizon. I’ve embraced the chaos of my binary perspective. I have learned to appreciate the choices that fall into my consciousness.

I no longer swim against the current, or tread water for fear of moving forward. I don’t swim anymore at all. I only float. I observe and I learn. I stopped holding on so tightly to my life. I let it all go. And then every thing I have ever wanted suddenly appeared within my grasp. And I just keep letting go. And these flowers keep blooming on my fingertips, like magic.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life is beautiful. I am beautiful. My mother is beautiful too, she just lost her ability to see it.

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Detachment 


I’ve finally made my way to the road of least resistance. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately, trying to find the balance between detachment and contentment. I’ve been preparing myself for a life of solitude. I’ve been planning my life consciously as a single person.  
This doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea, but I can honestly say that I’m the only woman I know out of my friend group who is capable of this. Every friend I know spends their single time, looking for a husband. They might make plans for the summer, but they carefully schedule their lives around the possibility of a partner.  

I get it. I do. I understand the undercurrent of loneliness in the river of solitude. As humans, we are pulled towards love. And love is the precursor to sharing your life with another person. But I have the complicated chore of wanting love without the sharing of my life.  

So I have been researching the idea of love without commitment. I’ve decided that I don’t want a blended family. I don’t want to deal with a man trying to bond with my fourteen year old daughter or my eight year old who worships her father. She gets mad when I even mention how beautiful Johnny Depp is. She openly tells me regularly that she doesn’t want me to date. I can’t blame her. I don’t want me to date either. I’m not any good at it, and the last time I tried, I ended up living in a situation that was like Rainman meets Little House On The Prairie. It was awful and I promised both of us that I would never live with another guy. I am very well aware of the risk that promise holds with my daughter. I wouldn’t have made that promise if I didn’t intend to keep it. I’m all done with cohabitation in relationships. My family is sacred and I don’t want anyone interfering with it again.

But I do want love. I want someone to talk to about my day. I want to feel the sweet warm light of being loved. I want someone I can share my kidfree weekends with, who won’t try to merge into our lives. I want someone who can accept that my family time is not on the table anymore. I want a deep and transformative connection with someone, but I need that person to know that they will only ever experience the mother side of me through my stories and conversation. I want amazing sex and weekend getaways. I want smoking pot and looking at the stars. I want good morning texts and compliments. I want a genuine interest in each other. But I want these things with someone who is willing to squeeze a really big love into a very small space in my life.  
My options are limited at best. I can be a mistress. I can fall madly in love with a married man. I could be the other woman, who helps to fulfill the empty, mundane life of a forty something married man, going through his midlife crisis.  

I could break up all the love I have to give into passionate little one night stands. It is tempting to enjoy some stringless intimacy with complete strangers.  

Or I could date until I find some equally complex guy who would want to share my very unique boundaries in love.  

But options are expectations. And a life of detachment has no space for expectations. A detached life is more of a choice than anything. It’s not an easy choice either. Detachment requires the ability to live day by day, taking in whatever life hands you, and then just as easily, leaving it behind. Detachment is hope without expectation. Detachment is counting on only yourself, true independence.  

Detachment is planning the summer I want, without compromise. I have planned a marvelous summer for myself and my children. The itinerary consists of moonlight kayaking, weekends in a pink beach house, A Dave Matthews concert with a bunch of beautiful hippies and a motor home, reiki classes, Girls Weekend in Traverse City, an RV adventure with my ex husband, hiking the waterfall trails in the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan, going to an Amos Lee concert with a complete stranger, and whatever else I feel like doing. Because detachment is making the choice to create your own life, one day at a time.  

I have not had a single summer in over three years. I’m going to enjoy this one.