Value and worth?

Listening to an ad on the radio this afternoon that has me somewhat stunned and wondering what decade we’re in.

Here’s the gist of it… “the perfect diamond engagement ring will be with her forever – even when you can’t be there…the next time she doubts herself, the ring on her finger will tell the world that this woman is loved, that she matters and has value…” You get the idea.

I actually spoke out loud in my car, what?! So stunned was I that a radio ad was being broadcast that carried the message that I had just heard. A message that, by its nature, implies that a woman cannot believe in her own abilities and live a confident, independent life without a man to support and encourage her. That insinuates that she has less, or no, worth or value if she doesn’t have that ring on her hand that shouts to the world that she is “good enough” for someone to marry… The message that she will need to have a ridiculously over-priced bauble on her finger to remind her that she has worth and value and strength because someone loves her…

Is this the message that we are still feeding ourselves? I had hoped that the fairy tale that every little girl just needs a prince to make her life perfect had been swept off the books. That fairy tale that told our girls that they were incomplete without a man was finally put to rest. A fairytale that instilled the pressure in our boys that they were responsible for a woman’s happiness.

Apparently that fable is alive and well though and has been prettied up and skewed just enough to be more about feeding materialism than measuring a woman’s worth based on her ability to find a mate.

Sad to think that as far as our society has come, there’s still so far to go.

simple really

I was asked last night what it is that I want in my life… Now to narrow that down, because that is a huge question…. I was at a gathering of friends when that question was posed to me. During a discussion about relationships and sexuality to give some context.

After a bit of stumbled thought and sentences (some wine had been consumed) it clarified for me very simply. Simple. That’s what I want. Not necessarily easy, because that’s different from simple … But simple. I know what I want and I know what is right for me when it comes to intimacy and closeness and relationships.
I have run into struggles when I have turned away from what I feel and know is right for me in attempts at “should”. Marriages and monogamy that just aren’t for me. Neither are random encounters with strangers to just satisfy base needs of the moment – although that’s not to say that doesn’t or hasn’t happened or won’t again… I’ve learned enough about myself to be honest enough with myself to know not to say never to that.

What I want is simple. I want connection and intimacy. Without the expectations that an evening of wonderful shared time will be anything other than what it is..that maybe that evening is just an evening; or maybe it’s an ongoing, “when we connect and the mood strikes” type of thing; or maybe it’s once a week, established and “us”. I want for what is, to just be allowed to be what it is. I

I want relationships that are open and loving with people who I care for that care for me. I want, and need , communication that is honest and expansive … I am purposely transparent in my needs and wants and in how I “do” relationships; I have spent too much time and effort in years of discovering that and owning my feelings to settle for people in my intimate life that can’t be that way with me. That means me listening and hearing their needs and wants and boundaries just as much as them hearing and listening to mine. I want to see my partners in love and loving others who fill their needs and wants just as they see me expressing mine with others as well.
I want, and need, and am, primary and committed to myself first and before anyone else. Solo poly and not only comfortable that way but happy and right that way.

I want the people who I chose to share my life and my Love with to know that me identifying as single and solo doesn’t mean that they mean less to me but that they are THAT important to me that I DO chose to welcome them to my heart and my life.
I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this doesn’t always translate to easy, but it is simple.

The key to making it work, I have found, is not only honest and open communication but being self-aware and honest enough with yourself to be able to communicate with others what it is that’s in Your heart and mind. Without having that connection and understanding with yourself first, there’s just no way you can relay it to someone else in order to convey what it is you want. YOU have to know what you want and need before you can tell anyone else 😊.

That question last night was a great reminder to me that I DO know and it really is simple.

Want or need?

We all have needs and wants and we’ve all had it drilled into us that wants are different from needs. That we don’t “need” all the things that we think we do; that, in fact, most of the things we think we can’t live without are just materialistic wants.

But what about when the line between what is a need and what is a want becomes blurred?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week on this and how it affects my life and more importantly, my quality of life.

The truth is that we only need a few simple things to exist. Food, shelter.. really not much to live. Our society has become so stuck on wants that are perceived as needs that there is almost a disgusting sense of greed that so many think they need to have a life.

When I moved a year and a half ago, it was a long distance move from one city to another and I decided to make this the time to purge my “things” and start over. I held onto the most important items but very much cleansed my life of most of my material objects. What happened is that I have found myself living with the sense of “I have what I need, I don’t need more than this”.. true in one sense but the reality that has become obvious to me lately is that sometimes something that you think is just a want is really a need… when you look at living versus existing.

I can live anywhere… yet I moved to Victoria – and specifically to the area of Victoria that I did – because of a need to have a certain lifestyle to have a quality of life that’s not just a want anymore, but a need – a need to be happy. Being able to walk to work instead of drive in gridlock commuting… being close enough to the ocean and beautiful beaches to walk to on a whim and sit and stare and smell the air…having an apartment with character instead of a cookie cutter look… these are all, on the surface, extraneous wants yet to me, they have become needs for me to have a life that is fulfilling. Going back to the morning rushing and exhausting end of day from commuting hell is not something that is permissible now to me. This lifestyle is a need for me. Non-negotiable to my happiness; and my happiness is finally on my radar.

Just like we need food to fuel our bodies and enable us to live, our souls need nourishment too. You can argue that having love and companionship isn’t necessary and in some sense that’s true. I have spent the last long while living the truth that while friends are nice and feel good, anything beyond that isn’t a need for me. That I’m all good alone and that I don’t need anyone in my life to make me complete… and that is a truth… I can exist alone. Yet having recently started to let people into my life and my heart, it has shown me that what I have always perceived as a want may in fact be a need. Not in the way that I can’t live without love and companionship, but with an awareness that for my life to be the quality that I need, then having people who I love and hold close to me is fundamental to that happiness. Living openly in relationships that fulfill who I am and how I love is a need to me now in my relationships, no longer just a want.

We always hear “life is too short to live without….” and the simple truth is that it’s not the quantity of life, it’s the quality of the life we choose to live with that’s important. Sometimes the wants become needs and we don’t realize it.

Day 3, chosen family

Smiles and happiness today because I am blessed enough to have people in my life that I care deeply enough to call my chosen family… and doubly blessed that they have chosen me as well to be part of theirs!

The saying “blood is thicker than water” doesn’t do justice to the truth that the people we chose to bring close to our hearts have special meaning. Whether right or wrong, there is a certain sense of obligation to love and care for the people that we are born into as family…if we’re lucky, then we like them too… but that’s not a certainty – the odds of actually liking and wanting to spend time with the family you are born to aren’t great. You have genetics or nurturing in common but that’s about it. All too often, families are groups of people who tolerate each other because they “have to”.

Yet with chosen family…we’re able to connect with a person or people that we share so much with… and build that connection and nurture a bond… and chose to invite them into our lives and our hearts and call them “ours”.

As I close today I smile because of that blessing.

Parts of a whole

Birthdays make you think… add in a major life alteration and it’s a recipe for reflection and delving into the harder questions that get asked.

I’ve come to think of myself as multi-faceted… Different sides and surfaces of “me” that comprise one whole beautifully complete Self.

Exploring and examining what makes me, me. Really looking at the angles and the edges…where the parts overlap and where they diverge so completely that I wonder how the aspects can even reside in the same “me”. Yet now, looking at the opposites and seeing diversity and wholeness rather than scattered misconceptions.

Embracing that the parts of me aren’t separate and isolated but that they’re intertwined and cohesive.

Aspects of my Self that I’ve had to fight hard to understand and even harder to accept. The challenge to believe that polar opposites can not only exist but that they can enhance each other in a way that I had no idea could happen… years spent trying to figure out the “who” of my Self only to start to discover that it isn’t “either / or” … it’s all about “and”.

A love of flowing, organic hippie chic…jeans and t-shirts…pencil skirts and stiletto high heels…rockabilly dresses and smokin hot vintage shoes…corsets and mini kilts… latin dance or driving house music with bass that you can feel…the softness of meditation or the brutality of a workout that leaves me exhausted and barely able to move…All “me” and yet all so different.

So don’t try to define me by appearances… I encompass so much more than a singular definition ever could describe.

My Self is displayed how I feel and that has no boundaries 😉

Be The Change

This song is out recently and I finally had a chance to really listen to it. I’ll be honest that it brought me to sobs because of it being a subject that is close to home. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mINGKrtG3iw )

There is a lot of talk about this generation being more open and accepting and the discriminations that we all faced growing up being largely a thing of the past. The facts are that this isn’t all that true. While these issues have gotten better with every generation we still have a ways to go. The horrendous facts are that kids do hide who they are, they are afraid to be who they really are and sometimes they make choices to not be here at all rather than live with who they are.

We, all of us, whether you’re the up and coming generation – just graduated, about to graduate… whether you’re the parents or the grandparents or the friends…we all have to not only sit back and think that people can be who they are… we have to *show* that it’s ok…

I’m talking about not only sexual orientation but gender identity and the whole realm that those encompass. Growing up is a gauntlet of emotions and trying to figure out where you fit. If you don’t fit inside your own mind because your mind has been shaped to reject and shame who you are – it’s hell.

“that’s gay” “faggot” “queer”… used to indicate a derogatory insinuation… are these ok? Simple, they’re not. Think about the 16 year old boy who hates himself for having sexual feelings for another boy or the 15 year old girl who can’t stand her body because it feels “wrong” when you toss those terms about. How would you feel in their shoes to hear how you identify being used to insult?

I was talking with my younger son a few months ago and it was during Pride weekend. On the radio they were playing the top 100 songs “in no particular order – cause who says a countdown has to be straight?”… He asked what “straight” meant because the sentence didn’t make sense to him. So I explained how the term straight is used usually to describe when 2 people of opposite genders love each other and are close to each other. I then explained (as best I could to a 9 year old) the terms gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered etc… It was a long conversation lol! He asked lots of questions and some were very pointed about same sex couples. He asked why a man and another man couldn’t marry each other if they loved each other… he asked how someone knows if they’re gay or straight…questions that I tried my best to answer.

The most amazing question he asked was simple though… “Why do they have to call it different things? Love is just love. Whether it’s 2 boys or 2 girls, it’s still just love. It’s not gay love or lesbian love or straight love. It’s just love”

Please make it just that simple.