Men + Myself + God

Tag: Romance

Someone Else’s Karma

by P. Braithwaite


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.

How Do You Love the Slowest Part of Yourself? (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

I’ve never felt so definitely at the end of my own personal narrative. If my life is a three (or 12) part series, the first part of my life is ending. Have you ever felt this way? I haven’t.

I feel like a new character is emerging.

Astrologically, I’m almost through my Saturn Return, but metaphorically I feel like there are two very distinct versions of myself separated by a river. Most of me has crossed over – I am an inhabitant of an elsewhere and I am older, wiser, more empowered. There is, however, the smaller tenacious part of me that lingers by the edge of the river, watching my newer self across the distance. I stick my toe in the water, but I cannot cross over yet.

That small part of me is attached to what is.

My core belief is that part of our ultimate journey in life is learning to love the slowest parts of ourselves. This is what it means to love unconditionally. This is what it means to surrender. When I send love to the part of myself that cannot yet cross over, I empower her to take the leap when she’s ready. I convince her that the other side is a safe place to reside. I let her know that what she feels is valid. Conversely, when I force, push, belittle, tug at, or deny that part of myself, she cries, she acts out, and she stays unwilling to meet her ‘better half.’ I have to honor the slowest parts because I promise: a small part of a larger self committed to sabotaging the rest, will make an entire life a living nightmare.

And both selves, the emergent and the stagnant, will suffer.

What does it mean to love the slowest parts of yourself? It means allowing yourself the space to cry or vent or whine. It means sitting with the uncomfortable feelings that come up (instead of pretending they don’t exist). It can mean sitting down and praying – praying for courage, or strength, for wisdom or peace. For me, it’s understanding that my slowest self LOVES support. It’s finding a coach or mentor who can provide loving structure and accountability so I can move forward toward my dreams.

Loving the slowest part of yourself isn’t letting yourself off the hook. It’s holding your own hand and guiding yourself forward…with love.

It is acknowledging your fears, shame, failure, or grief as ONE PART or an infinitely larger picture. It’s accepting the implied: that where there is a slowest part, there’s a part that’s moving quickly. The slowest part of yourself isn’t all you are.

It’s a practice in unconditional self-love.

It’s loving the you that hasn’t yet lost the all weight, the you that’s still in love with self-destructive partners, the you that doesn’t quite know how to achieve her goals, but is bursting with the knowledge that its time to try.

It is trusting and loving what is.

And knowing, wherever it is your going, you are strong enough to get there and trusting that you’ll do it….in perfect time.

And so it is.

How do you love the slowest part of yourself?

On Being Emotionally Exhausted (& Staying Anyway) #31writenow #nablopomo

by P. Braithwaite

I wrote this post a while ago, but never published it. I wasn’t ready. It was too real. I pose a few questions that I’d really love answers to. If you have any thoughts to share based on your experiences, please share them below…

Here’s a confession that’s probably obvious by now: I’ve never had a successful romantic relationship. I say that, but maybe that’s unfair. How do we measure success? Lessons learned? Insights gained? How do we know when things aren’t working? When do we make the decision to give up?

Time of death — 9:15.

These are the questions I’m grappling with today. I wish more people discussed the hard times in relationships. I wish married people wrote and shared the moments when they wanted to give up but didn’t. Take a picture of that moment, publish it on instagram…tell the story and add a hashtag: I’mgladIstayed. I wish married/deeply committed people talked more about the moments where they teetered on the edge. Commitments aren’t commitments if they’re never tested. I can’t be the only one unhappy sometimes.

I guess I’m looking for a different perspective; a love letter from a stranger. Someone to share a spark I can apply to my own life. The unknown and the known are exhausting and scary. I want to give up. I need a sign…

Sometimes, when we fight too hard and too long, we forget. We forget what attracted us, we forget what we fell in love with. We forget that we’re better together. What was amnesty feels like hostile territory. We forget that there’s a better way to live and love each other. We forget that there’s a better way to love ourselves.

So today, I have no answers. Only questions, how do you know, for sure, when it’s time to move forward? What keeps two people committed even when it’s hard? At what point does commitment become self-betrayal?

Share your thoughts, I’d really like to know…