What do I need to live? What do I really need? Food, water, air – ok, I get that, duh. I believe I also need love. What does this mean, I need love? Sure, it feels good to know that there are folks in the world that love me, whenever they love me. This is not what I’m talking about though, because love from others cannot only be fleeting, but if I believe I need such love, then I am dependent upon that love. And the only dependence that feels right and true for me is dependence upon myself: on my ability to meet my needs, listen to myself, act according to my highest wishes, and yes, love myself.
Sure, I like friendship and community and sharing with others. I like intimacy and connection and even commitment. I love commitment. So dependence on myself doesn’t mean that I am a loner against the world, in fact for me it’s not that at all. Dependence on myself, or independence, has me knowing with every cell of my being that I am connected to the core of who I am: on what’s important to me – and that can change often, or unpredictably: what feels like right thought and action, being able to separate myself from everyone else and all of their thoughts and actions.
I love engaging in the world and with people. I love new ideas, others’ experiences, and feel profoundly rich believing that I am capable of change at any given moment… as a function of the choices I make continuously about how to live my life. At the core of my engagement and change is my connection with what feels right and true for me… and that connection with myself is a clarity that I have been working on for decades as I dissect troubling, negatively charged past experiences, relationships, thoughts and actions… and alter my life to insure that I move forward with greater authenticity, expression and commitment to feeling whole and alive.
While life is not always easy, I don’t want it to be or expect it to be. I’ve learned that contrast is critical for my personal growth. As much as I love feeling good, I know that a 24 hour a day orgasm wouldn’t feel like an orgasm for very long. Contrast continuously gives me the opportunity to observe, think, dissect, reflect, and then change. In some small way I am always changing. Whether I change for the worse – taking less care of myself, succumbing to depression or anxiety or chronic anger, for example – or change for the better – asking for help, reach out to a friend or making a new one, improve my self-care, etc. – is up to me. The love and respect I feel for myself and the clarity of connection there gives me the courage to choose self-improvement and not self-destruction. I know when I have arrived at the right choice on how to proceed with change when my body relaxes and I feel better.
It’s been a long road and I am so happy to be where I am today, so comfortable and confident in my connection with myself. Knowing that that connection is what allows me to wake up everyday with the crystal clarity that I am ready… for anything. And that I have the ability to figure out what’s next.