This is my one hundred first post on this blog... best make it a good one, no?
As blogs go, this is the fourth incarnation of the fluttering inner workings of the mind of Ed. In truth, I've written more than seven hundred posts of various form from incredibly inane to some form of vanity fuelled attempt at the cerebral. A good lot of those early works aren't fit for consumption by the general public due in part to language usage and also in part to content best left for the Universe to deal with. After I die, someone can break into my electronic files and read it all. The odds are pretty good I won't give a shit at that point.
Of course, if I'm being brutally honest with myself, some of those early posts are unmitigated crap anyway.
As incarnations developed, I managed to dip my foot into the pool of many genres, my voice seemingly shifting with the tides. While this may seem odd and somewhat wasteful, each attempt was necessary until I found my writing voice. It was then I understood I needed to re-member five things:
-I had to be honest with who I am.
-I had to bring that honesty to my audience.
-I had to write from my heart and not my head.
-I had to refrain from chasing the idea of what my audience might like.
-I had to be vulnerable and willing to voice my beliefs.
-Swearing is healthy (that's six but... fuck it... they're my rules).
As I'm writing this, it occurs to me those rules may well be keys to living. At the very least, they're a guide for me. Whether they ring true for each of you is open to discussion.
My friend Joyce and I were talking about tribes the other day; those people who think and feel similarly about a lot of stuff. Specifically, we were discussing our tribe and how cool it was to be around our people. I thought about it afterwards and realized my tribe doesn't have to agree with everything I agree with and, the underlying principals of how we, as a group, approach life does need to be very similar.
Don't the five ideas above apply to a tribe as much as they apply to writing? I think so. That makes my tribe a safe place.
So... I'm thinking about love. Not the “in love” kind, though that Dopamine inducing state is certainly rolled into the big, bright warm fuzziness called love. There are all kinds of love and it seems to me they all follow the same basic rules. And, like writing, it can be a trial and error deal at times. I know I didn't get it right all of the time. I also know I put forth my best effort... every time.
So how do the rules apply to love (whether friends, family, chosen family or lovers)?
The first one is easy, no? If I'm not being honest with myself, in time that will show up in relationships. Not knowing who I am brings confusion and inconsistency to my actions. If I'm inconsistent, how do you suppose that affects the person I'm relating with. Confused, right? Putting forth my best effort means being consistent regardless of how they react... and I can only be consistent if I know myself and am being honest with myself.
The second rule is more difficult. Sometimes being honest with someone is painful. Brutal honesty isn't always the best path. That doesn't mean I have permission to wander through the door of dishonesty. At times, I think, it's important to not say anything. It's not about keeping the peace. It's about not going out of my way to hurt someone else. Having said all of that, even though the truth can hurt, it's better to be honest than to construct a house in quicksand.
It isn't real love if it's not coming from my heart. So, the third principal is pretty easy. If I operate from my heart, everything I say and do will have a loving intent.
I remember when I was younger I spent an awful lot of time trying to convince other people I was lovable. I would chase them for attention and, ultimately, do things that weren't who I was. Where is the sense in chasing people who continuously run away? There isn't any, really. I was trying too hard with people who wouldn't stop running. Eventually, I did two things. I came to the realization I am lovable and then, naturally, I stopped chasing approval. Real love isn't a race or a chase or a convincing argument.
Vulnerability is a buzz word these days. The reason there is such a buzz about it is because it's true. Unless I am willing to open the vault without fear of reprisal and let out those things from my past I think are ugly, then it's not love. That doesn't mean I spontaneously spew all my crap on the Persian rug. It does mean I am brave enough to show it when appropriate. Love is whole. It's two whole people showing up for the dance. It's tough to dance with both partners having one leg tied behind their back. Vulnerability means feeling safe enough to hold your heart in your hand and say to someone, “Take care of this for me, will you?”
I started this out writing about writing. Then I went on about tribes. Finally I managed a discourse on love. My brain kind of wanders like that. I could just as easily written about cooking or hiking or skydiving or marriage counselling or my job. It's the same principal I've mentioned more than once... how I do one thing is how I do everything.
All I know is this, if I follow these rules, something else follows along I don't even have to put any effort into; respect. Respect for my audience. Respect for my tribe. Respect for those I love. And, respect for myself.
Ed's Respectful Living - One O One.
Be well, ya'll.