May 10, 2015

What My Mother Taught Me About Strength

When I was younger, I would firmly protest to never become like my mother. She was always yelling. Always dictating what I can and can't do. She feared nothing and no one. In fact, our friends and family feared her.

She was at best, a 5'4" spunky and still ever-serious general.

I always claimed she never could fully understand me because of our contrasting traits. She was always ready for battle, while I felt myself being devoured as soon as things would get tough. She was always firm in her decisions, while I'd take the time to analyze the circumstances of each possible outcome. She never resorted to shedding tears, while I was an emotional wreck. 

Anytime I'd weep, she would encourage me to stop by saying, "This is reality. Reality requires strength over tears. As bad as it may hurt, tears won't do you or the situation any good. You have that inner-strength because you are my daughter. You are my sun. You are the light of my burning strength.

When my mother was a child, she wasn't presented with a close bond to her birth-mother which we all desperately yearn for almost as soon as we withdraw from the womb. She was instead, raised in the home of her aunt and uncle. Whom in turn, became her safe haven. Her guardians. Her everything.

Living in a crowded home of cousins whom soon became brothers and sisters, I'd imagine it was difficult to have attention be evenly distributed - And yet knowing this reality, my mother still deems her upbringing was a blessing and rightfully so. She has never allowed the conventional sense of family to divert her from constantly aspiring to live a virtuous life. 

As she got older, however, her understanding of love became harder and harder to fathom. Though her parents gave her all that she could ever want and more, she still felt a relentless and underlying urgency to feel a part of someone. To feel a closeness of love and an unequivocal connection that could never adequately amount to any set of words or phrases. 

Then she bared two children. Two children that would manifest a devotion so overwhelming, she'd question how she ever truly lived prior to them.

In tribute to finding the stability she's always desired outside of a small commune in the province of Rome and the communism intervention evolving in Venezuela, my mother decided to immigrate into the States seeking prosperous opportunities.

Through the eminent strive of a single mother, she taught them how to highly respect regulations, even when they may not always feel fair. She'd show them how to be courageous by letting them fend for themselves amongst a pool of doubt (Often times, literally). She nurtured and protected them without completely shielding them from both the wondrous and harsh realities of life - This was important to her.

She wanted them to obtain a tough exterior and to take on the world right alongside her. To be her tribe and to always be united as such. 

One of the countless things that I failed to recognize as a child is though my mother is exceptionally flawed, she is as close to perfection as a human can possibly be. She is perfect because she never hinders herself from her imperfections. She is neither shallow nor pretentious, yet she emanates an undeniable elegance. She isn't always exuding happiness, but she'll show it tenfold when she feels it. She is true. She is pure and fearless of this daunting world that can sometimes make us feel otherwise. 

I could fight myself everyday to not become like her. Yet if I tried, I would undoubtedly fail miserably. I'd fail because everything I claim to know about life or myself- the burdens, struggles, triumphs, losses, love - I completely and wholly owe to her. 

I sometimes unknowingly emulate my mothers tendencies. I find myself mirroring the way she vigorously cleans and tends to her home. I find her "can do" and "all-knowing" attitude reflected among the edge of my grin. 

I naturally aspire to be like my mother because I am so damn proud of her. 

She is perfect because she holds the prime balance of both light and darkness. Good and bad. She is human. She is my perfect, perfect human.

The light of my burning strength. 

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April 24, 2015

Learning to Love

The subject of love has become quite the spiel of conversation through almost all medians of communication. We hear about. Read about it. Sing about it. Feel about it. But do we really know anything about it?

I don't doubt that we do. But perhaps, even our general understanding of it is misdirected and miscued.

Though this may sound speculative, I'll be the first to admit that I've never particularly thought I was naturally 'good' or 'productive', sort of speak, at loving.

I suppose it's easy to idealistically write and proclaim the ins and outs of its dynamics, especially when you have some baggage to use as ample resource - But it's all essentially baseless. There is never an ultimate one-fits-all resolution when dealing with the matters of the heart. No matter how inexperienced or experienced one may be, it is nevertheless a daunting road.

Even now, four bountiful years into a partnership, I have found myself confounded in figuring out what is the best way to love, or how to adequately immerse in a love so deep without caving myself in all together.

How do I know if I'm failing at love, or what if I'm not loving enough?

I have never been one to completely and wholly surrender myself to someone because it's never seemed necessary to me. The inward workings of attributes and traits that generate my being insist I do otherwise.

I like having my own space. I like hearing myself think. I yearn for distance. I need time by my lonesome to fully understand myself and to therefore, understand anyone else.

I... I.. I.. That's all you've read so far. For the first time in what felt like a suffocating century, that is what I am delighted to read and embody too - Myself. And I refuse all mandates that shame for it.

I am finally tending to my wants, and urging that vitality in which viscerally requites all other aspects of my life. These self-serving engagements are what stimulate my love. The love for my family. The love for my craft. The love for him.

The love for myself.

This has to be important. Myself. Yourself. That love above all else matters.

Is it wrong to find time with yourself more valuable than time with anyone else? Selfish? 
Perhaps. I guess we're expected to disengage with our inflictions in order to rid ourselves of this despicable trait along with these desires. That expectation, however, comes with the price of disengaging with yourself all together.

If we cannot be upfront and honest about those very desires that fuel our capabilities of love, not only would we be manicuring ourselves to the universal standards and directives on how to love, but we would also be deceiving those who construct our very love. Which in turn, deceives and demeans the love we have for ourselves - For our needs. For our desires.

This desperate endeavor to find meaning and direction in love doesn't always end up as gratifying as we expect it to. Mostly because, well, we're not allowing love, in its most natural and instinctual form, to be liberated. To primarily feel it inwards, versus outwards.

It's difficult to not get caught up within supposed romanticized ideals and cookie-cutter templates our relationships are insisted to emulate. However, some of these fables which tell us how to properly operate in a relationship and project love are overarching - And in some ways, they desensitize the purity of it.

These rubrics are right about one thing though: a relationship of love does take a hell of a lot of effort bearing time and patience. Lot and lots of it. That very same vigorious effort should then be distributed evenly in a relationship with yourself.

An even bigger concealed truth is that there is no better find than to find that love within yourself. For yourself. Dismantle what you may think you know about love, and revitalize the love you once knew. The love that has always resided within you, and has never and will never flee from you. Give yourself to yourself.

What a beautiful surrender, indeed.

February 17, 2015

His Love For Her

His love for her is something I can't shake. 

It's a partnership a lot like our own but in so many ways much, much greater. 

Greater because it is so very clear that his love for her will never fully amount to the love he has for me. 

Their love is the kind that makes me question the perks and quirks of the world - how a love like that can preserve to survive and surpass it all.

It makes me question my own capabilities of love, and whether they are as grandeur. 

And somehow, somewhere between their gentle touches and 
doting gazes, it has made my solidified love for him as unimaginably greater. Isn't that just utterly insane? My guy's love for another woman has embedded so much more significance of my own love than I could ever fully comprehend - And I don't really think I care to. 

I would prefer to just observe their tender worship of one another from afar, and fall deeper into their warmth that caves into my heart. 

The way he tends to her needs, and makes sure her delicate body is comfortable at whatever means. The way he sits with her for hours and hours, just talking about anything and nothing at all. The way it is so naturally inclined within him to just inherently know when she's aching with pain, or when she's boasting of energy. Both of which, he shows up ready to devote. 

To devote time. To devote attention. To devote love. 

I am familiar with this kind of dedication because he so generously emulates it to every one of his beloveds; including me. 

Yet this love for her is boundless. 

Like an ocean. Always ready to stream and collide. 

And I’m at the shore, feeling elevated and engaged at such a marvelous sight. It is marvelous, and it is so, so, so deserved. 

I’m not the perfect lover, but she is.

So I watch them, synchronized in laugh and in love, as I too, fall completely dazzled and engrossed in their everything. 

Wholeheartedly knowing that he is my man, and he is wholeheartedly his mother's son. 

-signed, S

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