Men + Myself + God

Tag: relationships

All relationships are evidence of love.

by P. Braithwaite

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A few days ago I came across a video from Julie Zipper, the one of the headmistresses at Earth School. She was talking about relationships and she said something key…

“The relationships in your life are a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself.”

She went on to comfort those who might be facing relationship difficulties, and let them know that they deserve to feel more love within, but my line of thinking went elsewhere:

I’m a work in progress. I’m constantly battling the demons that whisper my insecurities, but if my relationships are a reflection of love within, then I’m doing okay. This does not mean there isn’t more room for more self-love, but all-in-all I’m doing fine.

…and so are you.

I’m blessed by my reconnection to Boyfriend Zero, a man I’ve known since I was 13. A man who has seen me at my absolute worst (I’m sometimes unbearable), but still makes sure that I’m fed and worries that heels on my boots are causing knee pains. He’s returned to let me know that at my core, I’m okay. If relationships reflect self-love, then I’m blessed with gorgeous friends who would do and give anything to make sure I was okay. Friends who try to feed me or cuddle with me or make me laugh when I’m upset; Friends who are slow to anger, rarely judge me, and are quick to understand where I’m coming from (even if we must sometimes stretch to find common ground). I have friends who are honest…even when it hurts.

If relationships are self-love, then I’m blessed with awesome siblings who travel to far-away places but allow me to tag along. I’m blessed to have a brother who has given me a sister — two people who understand my never-ending desire to grow (even when it is scary and uncomfortable). I’m blessed to have parents who support my pursuit of a creative life; they encourage me to take risks, and even fail. If my relationships are a reflection of self-love than I’ve loved myself well in other lives — I couldn’t ask for a better relationship with my folks.

I’m blessed to have to encountered teachers, mentors, coaches, colleagues and even strangers who taught by example — and who have loved me deeply and supported my endeavors. From conversations on planes to authors I’ll never meet, we are all…constantly…relating.

If relationships are a reflection of self-love,than I’m blessed for the tumultuous and drama-filled relationships as well. They’ve taught me who I am and who I want to be going forward. The rough and difficult loves crack us open and accelerate our growth — they push us toward the truth that there is nothing to fear, and nothing to reject — love is the only quality that persists.

A broken heart is an open heart. An open heart…changes the world. We are all better served by having loved.

If relationships are a reflection of self-love, then I’m blessed to count blog readers and bloggers among friends. I’m blessed by those of you that comment, and those that don’t..and those of you who send me emails and support me on this path. Even ‘strangers’ can be pathways to self-love.

I write this as a reminder because Valentine’s Day can be the loneliest day of the year, and it is so easy to get caught up in the social media assortment of gift pics and couple-selfies. It’s easy to find yourself feeling like you are lacking, but the truth is that love is everywhere. Your relationships, and the wisdom they bring, are direct reflections of the self-love you have within. Trust me, the most difficult relationships have brought me the greatest insight. You must really love yourself to sign up for such tough lessons.

And one more thing..

If all of your relationships are shitty and life feels unstable, and Valentine’s Day feels extra rough, I’m here. I see you. I know who you really are. You probably think I’m full of shit, but if you are reading my words then we are relating and THIS relationship, this intimate space we share, is a reflection of deep and profound love for yourself. Even if we never speak or I never know your story, please understand that I can only write this way because you are kind, and trust-worthy and beautiful and good. Other folks might be confused, but I know the truth. I can share my life this way…with you because I know I won’t be judged.

Our love is a reflection of your self-love. So if no other relationship is working, know that I am a reflection of the love you have for your self. Thank you for allowing me to love you.

I’m truly blessed to have you here with me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. May the universe be your Valentine today…and all days.

And so it is.

Someone Else’s Karma

by P. Braithwaite

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I’d be lying if I said he was forgotten. Sometimes, when I least expect it, the air carries his scent: laughter, sadness, passion, love. Other times a new season of an old show will air, and I’ll remember how we sat tangled on my couch. Happily. Addicted. Oblivious. Drunk. Refusing to let me fast-forward commercials.

“Commercials are our chance to really talk.”

When it’s over, bad memories are comfort. They support your thesis – he’s an asshole; she’s a jerk. The happy memories are harder to swallow. They are an under-wire bra, sexy but constricting. You can’t wear them for long. They don’t support the present circumstances.

Forgive me; it’s 1 am and I’m nostalgic.

It’s seductive to imagine a forlorn ex-lover writing you love poems with his own blood. Or its enticing to imagine a lover who never cared — a man who never loved. A person who has moved on and has forgotten you exist. Chances are, the truth is somewhere in-between.

You never know someone else’s karma.

You never know where a person’s path may lead them, and you never know when or why they may think of you. Life has a way of moving us forward. Nature only supports growth. Memories soften around the edges and fade into our present. We don’t linger. We move forward. We heal.

But that doesn’t mean love wasn’t there.

We never know another person’s karma.

The sad truth of life is that we can never know, unequivocally, the level of love or devotion that existed within another. We can only trust in our own perceptions of the past – the love was real, the moment magic, and the ending…for the best.

The ending is almost always for the best…

But you never know another person’s karma.

You can only nourish and cultivate your own.

And so it is.

Kim Kardashian is Doing God’s Work: Volume 2

by P. Braithwaite

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I’m a reality tv junkie. Forgive me…

Two years ago, when Kim Kardashian was marrying Kris Humpries all over cable tv, I was trapped in a loveless (and sexless) relationship with the man I call Dr. Dolittle. At the time, I didn’t know it was loveless (I was aware of the sexless part), and so I turned myself in knots convincing myself that my lack of passion was a flaw on my part.

I’m just too guarded. I need to open my heart. It’s because I’ve been hurt before…

That wasn’t it though. In truth, I needed to realize that I just didn’t really love him. And, truthfully, he didn’t really love me either. After a year in a long distance relationship, we should’ve split up over the phone and kept it moving.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

Instead of realizing that the relationship was a sham, I encouraged him to move in with me (and my two roommates and a tomcat named CoCo). He showed up with a duffle bag, and lived with me for two months.

Those were arguably the worst two months of my life.

One particular night comes to mind: we are in bed together. We are not touching; we are not cuddling. Both of us are fully clothed and above the covers. He reads a book, and I watch the 500th hour of Kim Kardashian’s wedding special.

I am sitting on my bed with a man I do not love, watching Kim Kardashian marry a man she doesn’t love. I watch her lash out at her sister. I watch her become more withdrawn and miserable. There is something about her crying the night before her wedding, about her asking friends for advice (at her own rehearsal dinner) that resonates deeply with me. So I do what we all do when we can’t acknowledge ourselves.

I judged the sh*t out of her.

“They are clearly wrong for each other,” I remarked. “I don’t think she’s in love with him.”

I happily pointed a finger at Kim K without noticing the other fingers pointed back at me. This pointing was more palatable than turning toward myself or the man living in my home.

Kim Kardashian is doing God’s work, and I’mma tell you why.

Whatever her motives for displaying her life all over the television, her misguided attempts at happiness are a lesson for all of us.

Beyond that, though, I believe that we are our own worst critics. We push ourselves into the love relationships we think we deserve and feel guilty about wanting to get out. We speak harshly of ourselves, we engage in daily dosages of self-loathing.

And that’s all without paparazzi calling you fat.

I genuinely believe that, whatever folks think of me, I’ve thought worse. Self-criticism keeps me from living more loudly, shining more brightly, and being more authentic. I think this is normal human behavior – which makes me wonder what Kim Kardashian’s inner-dialogue is like. It makes me wonder about what pain she must absorb to live a life so public.

Can you imagine hundreds of people reaffirming the scary shit that you think about yourself?

It takes bravery (and some neurosis) to be so openly and shamelessly visible. I cannot presume to know Kim’s motives. I’m not saying they are consciously noble, but sometimes we do more good than we intend. Sometimes our impact is greater than our flawed ego.

Sometimes we help just by showing up.

What I am learning is that there is as much spirituality and honor in being criticized as there is in being praised. When you stand in the line of fire you give folks an opportunity to search there souls.

Don’t forget, I think judging people can lead to enlightenment.

The thing is, praise and blame are two sides of the same coin. The act of engaging in both allows folks to reaffirm who they are – either by judging or identifying. Whether you love Kim Kardashian, hate her, or turn your nose up at her, you affirm your beliefs and values about yourselves.

Kim Kardashian is doing God’s work.

See, any opportunity to become more yourself is a blessing. Anyone who helps you discover who you are…is doing what God would have them do.

So I respect all those who allow themselves to be offered up risking shame, failure, heartache, and isolation. Even if their motives aren’t pure, it’s just not an easy lesson to sign up for.

Plus, and this I know for sure, everyone, on some level is doing God’s work. Everyone, on some level is assisting in the progression of every soul they touch.

Kim K. is no exception and neither are you. 😉

How are you doing “God’s Work”??

Keep up with my random Kim Kardashian Series: Vol 1. |