The best part of love?

You know what I love best about love? The deep, intimate vulnerability shared between lovers, where you both open your heart so wide that it can terrify, but there’s great strength and growth in it. To be able to tell each other your deepest, darkest secrets and love each other more because of it. To love unconditionally and accept the other for who they are with an eye towards always evolving and growing to be the highest and best you both can be.

This is the kind of love that can be like walking through fire as you learn more about each other and peel away painful cocoons of memories, past lessons, and impurities with the knowing that just because you both struggle, it isn’t the end. Each relationship is akin to being reborn into one another if it’s deep and sustains past the “falling in love” phase.

Past lives

ghost_shipsI was thinking about past lives, at least the ones I’ve remembered through my meditations.

Where I was a “bad” cowboy in the wild west days and I murdered people, a man from the Renaissance trying to rescue my past and present soulmate from a bordello, an asian monk in the Himalayas, a Muslim woman who was raped and stoned to death for it, and an Native American indian before the white people came to our land.

As I reflected upon those, it all felt like a warm tapestry over the totality of my soul that gave comfort in some kind of deep knowing and choosing of all these lives, where all we’re really doing is remembering who we are.

(Photo courtesy of and copyrighted by Abi Danial

River of love

On my porch this morning as I looked over my river in the midst of a dark storm with rain pelting her surface, I realized she never runs angry. She may overflow at times, but it is only when her love cannot be contained.

Personal string theory

There seems to be many different threads in our lives, where my own life is but one thread of a kind. There’s the thread that is the river who has helped me heal so much, there’s the thread that’s you in my life, the thread that I am in yours, the thread of a stray leaf falling by my side on an overcast day, there’s the thread of lifeless, endangered fox squirrel on the center lane of a country road, the thread of a book I’m reading, the coffee I’m drinking, the threads of my past lives mysteriously entwined into my present, the threads of my great loves, and so on. Each thread may have a meaning or understanding to it, but not always. Even when I step back and see the totality of all these threads adding up to the rich tapestry that’s my life so far, the great unknown remains.

Maybe that’s the way it’s to be, where you have moments of understanding scattered in the great web of unknowing, where you are to thrive in the unraveling of the mystery that is you.

Thanks to my cousin Lara for coining the phrase that this is my personal string theory. ; )

(Photo courtesy of and copyrighted by Charl Van Den Berg)

Struggling into no answers

Sometimes when just when you think life is going swimmingly and you’re moving forward well, something happens that knocks you back a peg or a whole row of them. It sucks when that happens and it seems pain is your only friend, one you were hoping you wouldn’t see anytime soon.

Sometimes it’s hard to trust the future when you get knocked back because it seems like an endless battle against an invisible force that just doesn’t seem to want you to get past something, especially when you think you’re the only one who truly cares and tries.

That fog that surrounds you makes it hard to see ahead, much less find clarity around you when you’re seeking answers because there’s a lesson in everything. Sometimes you’re thinking, dammit, where’s the frickin’ lesson in all this in the first place? I do my best, I try hard, I give my heart and soul.

Sometimes the hardest struggle is when there’s no answers, there’s no light shining the way out for you. It’s when you feel truly alone, even when you’ve got an array of friends and family around you, because it’s something you have to find for yourself. You literally have to create answers out of nothing, or at least blindly stumble forward somehow, trying to find them and the way out.

It’s funny, almost always in hindsight when we look back on these sort of situations we see that the answer was much more obvious than we thought or we get whatever was needed that we couldn’t see through all the fog and pain deadening our processes.

As counterproductive it may seem or even a waste, sometimes the whole point of struggling is just that — to struggle. Because during times like these, especially when we look back, it’s through that painful growth that we become stronger and we discover something new about ourselves.

gnarled_tree_Paynes_Prairie

Relating

Our desire to relate with others can be beautiful yet haunting because what we seek goes deeper than the you and I

-Ray

Together we stand

two_trees_BO_NIELSONI see two trees
swaying
in the wind

Sometimes they
drift together,
sometimes apart

Seemingly at mercy
of the wind of
life all around

Then I look where
they stand,
firmly in earth

Solidly together,
grounded in their
deep rooted love
for one another

Together they’ll stand,
through the foundation
of their hearts…
and enduring love.

(Photo courtesy of and copyright by Bo Nielson)

Global souls

In a way, I think we’re global souls. Actually, universal souls would be more accurate.

We really don’t have a “home” in that sense. Home bases might be a better description for us. The closest to a true home for me would be nature (especially out here on the river) where I can truly relax, let loose, and connect to the universe at large. Otherwise, we have this subterranean knowing that we really don’t belong to a specific place. It’s why we sometimes feel like ancient aliens – intimately familiar with the earth, but not of it.

I’ve travelled quite a bit and even while in different countries and cultures, I never really felt out of place. There was always this vague sense of deja vu rippling beneath the fabric of wherever I went. Maybe it’s that perpetual yet quiet sense of oneness with all. Perhaps it’s that innate connection to the reality that space and time is an illusion, that everything we have experienced and will experience is in the present moment – the now, not the linear. We’ve been there, even when think we haven’t.

For me, the world has no borders. Different cultures, yes. It’s like taking a long walk across town, through different neighborhoods. I don’t feel separate from each culture. There are no races. The cliche that we all bleed the same rings true, but for me it’s a soul level thing. We are all the same soul. Maybe different parts of it, but connected nonetheless to the whole.

We can feel the world so deeply and love without borders because of this. Earlier today I read how the Cambodians have recovered from the Vietnam war, but the bombing and death was so extensive it scarred each of their psyches that they still carry it to this day, even if subconsciously. I read how some foreigners visiting or living there could still feel the sorrow in these people, the psychic trauma withering below. While reading about what happened, I had to emotionally disengage because it was just too much, I was picking up all the trauma and past lives into my psychic heart, and it was hurting.

Disconnected, I felt better and got to the end of the story. But as I looked out to the sky to ponder, I felt a tear roll out of my eye. I wasn’t even aware it was there and then I realized it was a tear from my soul. I can disconnect all I want, but my soul will always be connected.

Our real home is where the heart is. And the heart is where the universe resides. That’s who we are. Universal souls.

Secret sanctuary

Sometimes when
my heart is weary

Sometimes when
my mind is sore

Sometimes when
I just want to frolic

You give sanctuary,
a secret church
for my soul to soar

Thank you,
dear beloved
Nature

For providing
a place of
abundant,
eternal,
unconditional
love.

Broken butterfly

On a hike this evening, I came across a broken butterfly. It had beautiful black wings with blue hues and tipped whites. A piece of its wing was missing, so it was only able to fly in circles.

I happened to look down at the right moment before I was about to cut off trail to go my own way and there it was on the ground, struggling.

I gently picked it up and cupped my palms around it to try and calm it down as it started to flutter madly. I held it with me as I walked some more while surrounding it with peaceful healing energy from my hands.

It had calmed down after awhile and I found a good, safe spot with large leaves to set it down upon. I unfolded my hand and it rested, slowly flexing its wings. We both just stood there for awhile, watching one another. I lowered it onto a leaf and it hopped off and fluttered onto my shirt. I smiled and let it sit there for another minute and then lowered her back to the leaf because I knew she might fall off me while I was walking the trails and get stepped upon. This time she crawled onto the leaf and stayed. I bade it farewell.

Walking away, I turned to look at her and she was still there, still slowly flexing her wings open and shut. As I turned back to the trail and moved on, I knew she wasn’t going to make it. This sadness flooded into me and my eyes welled up. I was surprised to feel this way, so suddenly and so deeply. But it also felt like I had briefly tapped into a universal sadness because it felt everywhere.

I looked up high up into the trees and called out to nature to protect and guide my little friend and gave my thanks.

Later I realized I was saying a prayer for all the broken butterflies and broken souls in our world because we are all inexorably connected in a common bond of love. We are never separate, even when we feel that way.

A butterfly at the Tuscawilla preserve near Micanopy, Florida
A butterfly at the Tuscawilla preserve near Micanopy, Florida