I Love You (if I could).

I love you

I love you.

If I could rush there, to the place where the walls have been smashed down and the borders between us were fluid and we were standing in an open field of lush grasses and neverending sun,

If I could shower my own heart with so much love that there was nowhere else to go but to spill onto your beautiful self, which I would be seeing as though for the first time on the very first day,

If I knew without having to strive for this understanding, that to love you is the greatest freedom and most ideal joy there is, and that we could be in this most loving space in the blink of an eye,

because it lives in our bones
while we push with our minds
because it is how we were meant to be,

I would. I am coming to you.
I love you.

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As A Child Would

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if we can dress our
wounds with love,
and not understanding
what that means,
adopting the curiosity
of a child, unafraid,
ready to explore
their edges and borders,
ready to slide in
to find their story
of origination,
ready to embody
the whole being
of which the
wounds are a small
part … watching
them grow smaller
in our spirit of
implicit acceptance
and exuberant play. – TS

With Love

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take time for yourself
take deep breaths
breathe in space
breathe out compassion
let yourself be scared
let yourself feel old
scars and fresh new wounds
hold what you love close
allow love to expand
bodily, from deep within
let love pour out to
the most unexpected places.
shower yourself with love.
feel the love around you
that means none of us
are in this alone.
the world depends on it.- TS

I am Here

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The day that lumbers on
The life that slips right past
 
And what of in-between?
No dragging on or rushing by
 
But the breathtaking pause.
The moment of, “I am here.”
 
Maybe my shadow slants long,
Or maybe it’s a shadowless noon.
 
Maybe there is verdant splendor
Or maybe there is me, in my body,
 
Breathing in and breathing out,
As my skin cushions the breeze.
 
And I am not dreaming, or hoping
Because it is all already here, inside,
 
And when I face the fear, and look,
I’m overcome: how very full it is. – TS

What If: A Love Song to Self-Acceptance.

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Tammy T. Stone

This is essentially about self-love, self-acceptance and the power of desiring without attachment, but I was feeling a bit effusive about it all, so here we go!

What if?

What if I had been born with butterfly wings?

A great Monarch, a dazzling alchemy of orange and black.

Even better, what if I was born as a whole colony of little white butterflies, and I could flutter my wings and soar when the universe and I knew the time was ripe?

What if I could sing like Sia and move every last earthly mountain with one searing note?

What if I could dive into a movie screen and enter a French film where I sit down with young beatniks at one of Paris’ Left Bank Cafes, sipping espresso and talking about profoundly philosophical matters while appearing impossibly charming and sophisticated?

What if I could float up to the highest treetops any time I needed to talk to the sky?

What if I could count seahorses and mermaids as my closest friends, and relay their messages to the world?

What if my carpet and bed were the fallen leaves on a forest floor and each leaf whispered cosmic secrets into my ears at night?

What if I always knew how to express everything that lives in my heart?

But what if way deep down I knew these “What If’s” made no sense? Because it’s not logical.

If Only

If only I weren’t so stricken with logic. Because I like dreaming.

If only I didn’t stop to ask myself, “Who is conjuring up all these fantastic, dizzying What Ifs?”

If only I didn’t understood that to live the fantasy means to wipe out me, and without me, there can be no wistful dreams.

Because to get carried away in the dream means there is no one left to do the dreaming.

If only I couldn’t figure out that if I were a butterfly or Sia or an elegant espresso sipper in a French film, I would be erasing myself out of existence, along with all the flights of fancy and the What Ifs.

And then the world would run out of dreams.

If only I didn’t get that in the What If world, the protagonists are always fictional, already-fading stars; as much as we adore them and want to fall into giddy laughter with them over a glass of red, we can never encounter anything but the dress-up, the caked make-up and a person who goes by a different name.

If only we could happily embrace we who dream more than the fantasies themselves, and if only we recognized that everything we can dream up already exists as potential.

If only, when we put our mind in the clouds, we do so to smile with the stars and sun and moon, and thank them for their existence. If only when we come back to our Earthly bodies, we thank them too for all they continue to do for us.

We should ask: what if to dream is an end in itself, one of the very beautiful marks of being human, the very unique beings that we are?

What if we dream without wanting to disappear in the dream?

What if we desire without attachment?

What if we love instead of want

and share our love until all the edges disappear

and there’s nothing left to wish for

because it’s already here and it’s already now?

 

This article was originally published on The Tattooed Buddha.

 

 

Ordinary is Beautiful.

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I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was in my mid-twenties, warring with a Masters thesis that hurtled barriers against my every attempt to get the thing done, spiraling into in an increasingly depressive state. I had become feverishly obsessed with my thesis topic on colour theory in cinema, which had me asking: why were black-and-white films so successful when we don’t see the “real” world as shades of grey, while colour films had a more shaky entrance into the world of film?

I devoured more books than one little thesis could hope to assimilate, and mostly avoided the phone (and often, the shower). I spent days on end doing things like rewinding The Wizard of Oz for the thousandth time (these were the days of VHS), pinning down to the second how much screen time was devoted to displaying the yellow brick road, compared to the movie’s sepia segments.

This was all fascinating stuff, but it began to overrun me. Studying had become a compulsion, propelling me toward some vague “something” that an unconscious part of me decided was worth the sacrifice. But my psyche wasn’t taking all that well to this martyrdom my mind was encouraging.

My journal from those days were filled, in turn, with wonder, bewilderment, self-loathing, existential and overwrought treatises on the meaningless of it all, and also, a “read-between-the-lines-esque” impression that I must be destined for absolute, unequivocal greatness, even though I was equally sure that I had never produced an idea of any value and likely never would.

It seems these often go hand in hand—low self-esteem with an overly grand, superhero sense of self, belittlement and aggrandizement; the feeling that one is at once smaller than a grain of sand on the shore and also larger than the vastest ocean.

Being less-than and more-than must fit so comfortably together because of what they have in common: they are both ultimately ego-driven, and miles away from our ideal destination of equilibrium, of being just who we are. It’s so hard to unveil our true nature, to accept the flawed, floundering, and also magical qualities of our unique being without taking them on a ride into extreme-land now and then.

But we have to start somewhere, if equilibrium is our goal. For me, it was a ton of bricks slamming into me—via my journal—one day. The realization seems silly to write down, but it was so profound to me that it almost knocked me off my well-used and under-tidied bed.

I’m just an ordinary person.

I am not less than a person, and there is absolutely no one asking or demanding that I be more than one. Ordinary is not bad. Ordinary is sublime, and the necessary starting point containing the vast sea of possibility that is us.

If we let it.

I scribbled furiously. I wondered how I arrived at the belief that my sense of worth needed to come from accomplishing some unforeseen act of spectacular genius, and that who I was today could be validated by some mysterious future action I couldn’t name for the life of me.

I wrote about how I was self-imposing so much pressure to distinguish myself that I actually forgot live my present truth, and what kind of future can come from a non-existent and saddened present? This was the future that was supposed to retroactively save me, even though it was as obtuse as life on Mars?

It had never occurred to me before that the only one creating this mass drama of my identity was me—another human on a planet brimming with them—and that I was not only enough, but perfect, and just as I was supposed to be.

Just like I felt everyone else was.

In allowing myself to be “just” a person, I could start to put my adopted (if accidental) persona of glamorous doom aside and do things people tend to do in the course of an ordinary day. I could shower, call my friends back, and read difficult books without having a heart episode every time a question was left unresolved. I could maybe enjoy a meal in a venue other than my bed.

Of course, none of this happened overnight.

In the end, I continued to struggle with the thesis as I landed my first post-school job, and then my boyfriend at the time and I moved to Bangkok for a year.  It was only when I came back that I had enough distance to realize this one thesis didn’t have to change the world—and I got it done.

It was a longer road still until I found myself at another impasse that led me back East, now more sure than ever that I’d love for my chaotic mind to not dominate my life, the key to fulfillment lying in healing the wounds of the heart. The journey is a long and meandering one, to say the least!

Looking back, though, I’m sure that the seed for all that was to come was planted on that day—in that journal entry—as I wrote in amazement that my only real job was to fulfill my legacy of being human; to be the best possible and kindest person I could be, just like everyone else.

This will always be enough.

“Ordinary” is not a pejorative term; it never means that we are limiting ourselves. Rather, it entails coming to own our shared existence, and laying foundations for blooming into the expansive vistas of all we can be, in the light of what we are in connection.