To love and be loved

At the end of the day we all just want to be loved. We do. I think you are crazy if you do not agree with me. Wanting to feel loved is the cantankerous colleague that never seems to be happy and wants to stir the pot without realizing it. They just want to be heard. Being heard is a form of love. It is the family member or friend that calls attention to themselves (maybe without realizing it) because deep down they just want attention. They want to feel loved.

Often we do not know how to verbalize the love that we want in our life. We assume that others will know how to love us in the way we want to be loved. And yet, is that even possible? If we do not tell others how we most feel loved, how will they ever know? We have to find a way to tell them (that is if we care to feel their love – we might not think it is worth the effort). Recently I came across this Marianne Williamson quote:

“The meaning of life is to love and be loved. To be the light that casts out all darkness. To replace fear with love and remove the suffering of the world.”

The first line is all that matters. To love and be loved – is the meaning of life. It is so true. When we get into an argument with our spouse or friend and we are angry, often it is because we felt ignored, not heard, and thus not loved. If we feel left out of an adventure with friends we may feel unloved by them. The list goes on, but it always circles back to being loved.

If we all focused more on how we best receive love and share that with others, we might just find that we feel loved. If we focused more on how those we love most feel loved and we respond in that way, they just might feel more loved. When you look at it like that it feels simple. Right?

It’s not you, it’s me

We don’t always get what we want.

People come into and out of our life and sometimes we do not have a choice. At times their lives are too busy for us, or maybe we are too busy for them. Often we do not know why we no longer connect, hear from, or are a priority for others. There might not be a malicious reason, life happens, shit happens. Maybe the famous line: “It’s not you, it’s me” really is true in friendships and working relationships. I have had a few frustrating conversations over the past week and I continue to wonder, was it me, or was it them? Should I have handled things differently? Should I have been more patient, or more direct?

When we do not receive direct feedback from others, the “It’s not you, it’s me” line does not answer our questions. We might agonize over whether we have alienated someone, pissed them off, or made them feel tiny. Sometimes we will never know what we did (or did not do in a situation). Our agony is not really worth the time, especially if we never receive answers to our questions. We must move on and continue towards what is next.

There were a few individuals that I especially was looking forward to having in my life in the near future. Sometimes the roads that we think will meet are just a mirage, we dream of where they could lead, and somehow when we get closer to where we think they meet, we realize it was all just our eyes playing tricks on us. Or maybe we allowed our mind to dream and wonder where this moment in our life could take us. Whether it was not meant to be, or it was not meant to be at this moment in our life. We can be grateful for what we learned in the process. I know that sounds cliché, but really each step we take, leads us to the next opportunity that awaits us. We just might not see it clearly at first. I am having such moments. Was it me, or was it them? What I thought I would see on the other side is different from what I am seeing now. I have to clear my mind and be open for the true picture that is before me.

Definitely not easy, but maybe the true adventure is not knowing what we will see on the other side. Maybe when our imagination runs wild, we can put a picture together and even when it does not turn out like our dreams, sometimes when we wait patiently and long enough the end result is better than we can ever imagine. I am willing to wait, maybe less patiently over time, but I have seen it before and I know my imagination is sometimes not large enough for what is possible.

Keep your mind open to the possibilities.

Love Life or Love Life

I love a good oxymoron, a play on words, anything to get my brain to think and wonder. Rob Lowe’s newest book is called: “Love Life.” His title could really be more about his wife (the love of his life), about his love life, or what I think he really meant, which is to love the heck out of the life that is in front of us. In any case, Love Life is an interesting and thought-provoking memoir. I was a fan of his first autobiography, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.” See, I like Rob Lowe. He plays interesting characters. From West Wing to Brothers and Sisters to Californication to Parks and Recreation, not to mention all the movies he has been in. Does Outsiders ring a bell? He does not play the same character again and again (as some actors tend to do), and I love that about him. When I happened across his first book, I thought it would be an annoying, pompous book from a famous Hollywood actor. It was nothing like that.

The writing is good, and while I do not know if he actually wrote it (who ever knows these days) it was still a compelling memoir of his life. He is very transparent about himself, his pros and cons, and you can tell in everything he says how much he loves his wife, two sons, and how important it is to him to be a dad. I loved this quote on the very first page:

“I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said 90 percent of successful moviemaking is in the casting. The same is true in life. Who you are exposed to, who you choose to surround yourself with, is a unique variable in all of our experiences and it is hugely important in making us who we are. Seek out interesting characters, tough adversaries and strong mentors and your life can be rich, textured, highly entertaining and successful, like a Best Picture winner.” Page 1

It really makes you think about who you surround yourself with, and that while we do not always have a choice of who we interact with each day, we should focus on the situations we can control. Lowe never wanted to live a boring life, and neither should we! So get rid of the boring, the dull, and the uninspiring and bring on the adventure.

And, if you never take the leap and have more adventures, then you may never see success. Sometimes you have to have a few failures to find the gem. He discusses the different shows or movies he was involved in that did not make it off the ground, were cancelled, or just did not get the ratings.

“Maybe I’m in denial, but I don’t believe in ‘flops.’ You try something and it may not work. You try something and this time it might. You never know, and you have no choice other than to keep trying. The only time you flop is when you don’t learn something.” Page 148

Sort of like the Coldplay song, “Fix You” with a favorite line 0f mine: “If you never try you’ll never know.” I strongly believe that the tough times and disappointed moments turn into beautiful works of art. Sometimes we just have to have extreme patience as we go through the growing pains.

Moment by moment

It is wedding season. So far we have already been to two weddings this month. I have to confess: weddings are just not my thing. However, I have to share about a wedding I went to on Saturday.

We were in Bend, Oregon at a ranch in the beautiful countryside. There were horses out in pasture as we drove up to the ranch (the location of the wedding and reception). It was a gorgeous day, in the low 80’s, dry, and from sunrise a clear blue sky day. If I woke up as the bride, it would have been the perfect day for a wedding. Until a forest fire broke out. Yes, from what the news said, there were two forest fires, and from the sounds of it they were not controlled fires. As we were driving into the ranch, this is what we saw. I was hopeful that the bride would still have the perfect day.

Let me back up a bit. I kept having the intuition throughout the day to text the bride and tell her I was thinking about her. I know how often mother’s and mother-in-law’s and other family can jump in and think they are helping during a wedding, but are actually overwhelming the bride. Not knowing what her day would be like I was going to text her the following: “Remember your wedding is about you and [insert name to keep it anonymous], only the two of you. It is not about anyone else. Know that I am thinking about you today. Do not think for a second about anyone else.” I never sent the text. We met friends for lunch, we got iced coffee, we walked around town, I went for a run, and yet I never sent the text. Part of me did not want to bug the bride, as I knew it was a busy day, and part of me just did not follow through.

Jump back to the time of the wedding. We were told upon arrival to get something to drink and to take a seat (the ceremony was near a pond or river of water and in direct sun). The groom and groomsmen walked down the green to the front, and moments later we hear a siren, and listen as it comes closer and closer to us. It parks in front of the house where the reception is at, and the bridesmaid and bride are standing on the porch on their way down to the ceremony. A firefighter in a yellow slicker stops at the porch, and we all turn to watch. We all wonder: “will we be able to stay or will we be evacuated.” As well as: “What must the bride be thinking at this very moment.” Later I heard that the groom mentioned: “I just want to get married.” A perfect comment for the moment.

After a few folks run back and forth to us, and the bride’s father, we are told we have to evacuate, then moments later they tell us, we can do the ceremony as long as it is quick, and we must leave immediately afterwards. The precious flower girl (with a white dress and cowboy boots) runs quickly down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids and bride, the perfect wedding happens, short and sweet and just right. All attendees are told to go to Drake Park near the Deschutes River near downtown Bend for the reception. Everyone pitches in to take something from the reception, beer, wine, flowers, food from the caterers. A bittersweet moment for the bride.

We each make our way to the park. As we leave the ranch, police and firefighters posted at different points along the way, and as we get farther and farther away from the ranch, more and more firefighters are going towards the smoke in the opposite direction that we are heading. All hands on deck, and all guests pitch in to try to recreate the reception for the bride and groom. Flowers are set out in the perfect way, folding chairs have been brought from the ceremony, all the food from the catering, framed photos of the bride and groom, the wedding cake + cupcakes, a table especially for the bride and groom. We all together decorate that portion of the park. There are even speakers and music. Such a sense of community after events that the bride and groom could do nothing about even if they tried.

My heart goes out to the bride and groom. Such a precious way to start a marriage. Flexibility, compassion, community, and adventure all on their wedding day. For all those days and months of planning that perfect day, in the end your friends and family were there as part of your celebration, regardless of location and it was perfect. You will have such a story to tell for years and years to come. Best wishes and so much love to both of you as you continue on your adventure!

Ever wanted to jump into a bin of balls?

I have alway had this childlike zest for kid things. Maybe it was because I had to grow up fast, but I love skeeball, bowling, batting cages, whack a mole, bumper cars, roller coasters. I love them all. There are times where I can just stop in the middle of the day and just want to go and play, kick ass in a batting cage until my hands hurt from gripping the bat. Call me crazy.

I just want to add to the list. I have always wanted to jump into a bin of balls. Since I am a simple Indiana girl, and the only place I can ever remember that had a bin of balls was McDonalds, and well for one reason or another I never partook in such adventures of bins and balls. So when I saw this video, I had a grin on my face and a feeling of zeal, or maybe it was a twinge of jealousy.

I would have no problem jumping into the bin of balls, and I think I might have a mighty time connecting with another individual in said bin of balls. It is funny and endearing. I laughed at 1:45 (because the teeth comment is odd and made me laugh.) I had tears when the mom said: “My daughter is everything I ever wanted to be.” It made me wonder what it would be like to have a mom think and say that. I want to know what it feels like. I think you will enjoy this video.

The world is amazing when we open our eyes, reach out to others and take adventure into our world. Let me know if you know of a bin of balls in Portland!