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Together… You said that you think people are born with their destinies set. To a degree, maybe, but I also believe that when we are born, in front of each of us lies a series of projects… projects we can choose, or choose not to undertake. In choosing not to work through these, we seal our fate—we live our destiny. In choosing, however, to face and complete the projects, we open doors—not only for ourselves, but for others who will follow.

Some of this work is universal—learning to love, for example; finding our Source, and therefore our connectedness to all things; taking responsibility for ourselves and our perception and experience of the world around us… these are the first steps, and ongoing, for all who wish to find happiness and live life to it’s fullest. Other work, however, is individual—it is laid out with our names carved throughout, begging for our very personal attention. For some, this might require facing pain in its most extreme sense… others will fight to find humility and peace. Many will be caretakers of those who cannot care for themselves.

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Some will bring greater joy to the world by sharing an innate sense of what the majority find entertaining. Sometimes we will be aware of the projects in which we have agreed to be active, other times, we simply find ourselves working, often unable to define what we are doing or where we are. Reactive, distractible, independent—my current project, of which I am well aware, is to find balance… to consider, while not taking responsibility for any one else’s feelings as I react; to learn to engage without running to extremes… And so I met you. Balanced, successful, consistent, perceptive… ou, in simply being and sharing your presence, bring me face to face with my self. You take things personally, when you shouldn’t, yet therefore making me more aware of my lack of awareness of another’s feelings and entirely separate perception of life. Your giving and protecting nature forces me to encounter and dissemble the walls I have constructed against receiving love… your anger over some of my most benign and un-thought actions makes me understand where my responsibility for another’s happiness ends as I accept my right to be imperfect and still maintain and fight for my place.

I want this relationship… but I’m fighting myself because of it. You will change me, but not because you want to, even if you do. Giving love comes easy to me, receiving it is something entirely new… and I’m not good at validating another persons efforts to share their happiness. Let me learn how to be with you… don’t assume anything about what I feel based on what I say, unless you can allow me the time to answer specifically. Life has challenged me to be independent… but suddenly I find in front of me someone who wants to be by my side… and I don’t know how to let you stay, although I want you here.

Believe that, even if you don’t feel it at times. Feel free to question me, but don’t accuse, because my defenses were built over time through pressure and accusation and are too strong so they cannot be broken with force. I will never be someone you can come home to… I’ll never be the perfect woman for you unless you allow me the freedom to be imperfect. But I will love you, if you will let me… and I will be with you, to the extent that I have the opportunity. I am a real person. I take my projects seriously. I understand that I still have a lot of work to do… ut I know what love is, I’ve met my Source, and I will always take responsibility for myself and my experience of life. I don’t give up on anything too easily… but I am determined to be happy and to share it. I won’t let anyone else get in the way, but I will share the best of everything I’ve found. I want to be with you… believe it first, and you’ll find out. Free Spirit This feeling, I should hold it, knowing that it’s only the feeling of being understood… but knowing, too, that the understanding comes in the form of another who feels the unquenchable need for freedom and is better at it, has lived it longer…

Knowing that the connection is in the fact that we will never be truly connected because although I carry with me the smell of his cologne, I’ll never get so close as to let him take my freedom. In people like us, love takes a backseat. Amazing, because I see my green eyes when I look into the deep brown of his. Shocking to feel so soon this attachment to my own freedom—to my self. I haven’t been damaged… I’ve awakened to that which I am: Free to be. Mother lover creator survivor Well intentioned hammer You’re morning dew drenched green grass Beating nails, building fortress Asking doubtful fearful unsure

You’re coal under pressure As you sparkle and shine Breathing freedom, seeing time Through emerald diamond eyes Scolding mocking belittling– Silence the golden voices saying What you are little girl, by time coarsened Only you see your soul, wise woman Frown smile laugh weep A moment in time unforgiven by sleep Life brings tears that can’t be subdued but a once shattered heart senses its value Fly to the moon with wings earned by diving off cliffs Of mountains you climbed as you built them Your world lives in lucid dreams Behind emerald diamond eyes Feelings—the ones that we can label and describe, they are imaginary… nd who cares what goes on in anyone else’s imagination? Emotions, on the other hand, are real by their very definition: “an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness” (emotion. (n. d. ). Dictionary. com Unabridged (v 1. 1). Retrieved July 11, 2008, from Dictionary. com website: Being “affective” they contain feeling, that imaginary state, yet emotions at their root, are the feelings, often undefined, that cause action: emotion=to move. It’s the “as distinguished… phrase in the above definition that I find so poignant. Cognitive and volitional feelings of love, say, for one’s lover vary tremendously from the emotion of love that one experiences for his or her own child. My love for my son is that which comes without any choice of my own. I am his mother so I love him. It is emotion, not feeling, that enables the continuation of our species by way of moving parents to care for and protect their offspring. Yet the “love” that I feel for a lover is absolutely cognitive-a choice born of imagination; an act of the will… call it “a feeling. ” Feelings and emotions are linked… inseparable.

Yet one- “emotion” is that state of mind and being that one cannot wish away or ignore. However, neither is emotion easily described or labeled. With feelings, on the other hand, WE CREATE emotion by the very act of labeling them! This topic fascinates me, due to the intense power of my personal emotional life–those driving factors that I sometimes cannot explain, and the often contradictory imaginary states that I label so descriptively I can almost hold them in my hand. Feelings start in the imagination and become real by way of the action we take… thus, feelings can become “emotion” but only by personal volition.

Actual emotion often over-rules feeling. People whom we call “unemotional” are actually ruled by emotion. Feelings that seem they should arise logically are disallowed by more powerful and less easily explained emotions. Those who seem “out of touch” with their feelings simply lack the willpower that it takes to choose the most reasonable course of action based on potentially positive feelings. Instead, emotional survival characteristics present themselves in a nonsensical place, often creating pain. Fear, for example, is a contradictory emotion most often found alongside romantic love–the kind of love that is entirely volitional.

One must willingly choose to feel love while forcefully stifling the very natural emotion of fear… so romantic love, if it is to last, demands a significant act of willpower. However, fear also results in attachment… it is a driving factor in one’s inability to let go of something that no longer makes sense… because, as humans, we fear, naturally, the loss of control, we cling to those things and people that give us some sense of control, even to the point that the attachment itself becomes self-destructive. Human Nature There are those of us who have been irreparably damaged by life.

To us, every encounter provokes a survival response… a defense to a threat, either real or imagined. Because we have been damaged, we live, to a large extent, within our imaginations and the very fact that the damage is truly irreparable means we cannot escape our own imaginary worlds—even as they destroy us. We attract, and are attracted to each other. We can blame our parents, but not without blaming our parent’s parents, and their parents, and finally, if ever we are to break this fatal cycle, ourselves as parents. We can also blame our tragedies and our lovers, but again, not without realizing that in them, we play out our roles.

We refuse to consider ourselves victims, so we take control of anything within our reach… thinking instead that in some way, any way, we are better than the next person. We do not always, or even usually, come across as cold or unkind. Rather, we are charming and warm and some of the happiest and seemingly most fully satisfied of all. This is because we live so comfortably in our imaginary worlds, not necessarily subject to harsh reality. We choose our delights and live within them. Sometimes, the only way you will recognize us is by our never failing propensity to self-sabotage.

So we attract each other; and in so doing, we attract our own pain… and the cycle never ends. But who are “we? ” We are those who must survive. We are those who desperately want to be and can only consider ourselves the center of our own worlds, despite evidence to the contrary… for we are surrounded by others who must think the same to ensure their own survival. We are friends and we are lovers; we are children and parents. We are human… and we search endlessly for saviors from ourselves. Some create higher powers or succumb to those previously invented, some hide behind addictions and fantasies.

Others make gods of themselves. Still more of us search for ways in which to replay painful scenarios in a desparate and unfruitful attempt to repair the damage that has been done. We are human… and despite the pain we inflict, in spite of the way we fight our dependency, we need each other. Only in this humble realization do we break the cycle: We are all damaged and we hurt each other so we need each other. Happiness is like wind. You can feel it blowing all around you… sometimes it’s just a calm breeze, sometimes it pushes you at all sides… but it’s something you can never grab or hold onto.

In those stifling moments where the air is so still you can’t stop hearing yourself think, can’t stop wishing for the slightest breeze, the only comfort is in the fact that the weather is always changing… and the wind will be back… but maybe it has to rain first. This is all there is I wish I could hold onto certain feelings. That’s why, I suppose, I write. This morning I woke up thinking about a discussion among some of my friends concerning one’s practice of Judaism. He said “Jews don’t believe in Hell. ” Christians do… but why? The feeling, that still lingers, but predictably, will pass: THIS IS ALL THERE IS!

Religion is a systemized, culture specific attempt to make the most of it. Judaism, at least what I know of it, makes a great deal of sense. Christianity–maybe only because I’ve been innundated with it’s hate-filled bias, does not. I am one of the (few maybe? ) who constantly fights myself… in desperation, trying to overcome my own humanity. But THIS IS ALL THERE IS. So why? My mind screams a continual tug of war between facts and feelings, knowledge and emotions. It makes me think of Seal’s song “Crazy” where he sings of crazy people inside his head and one of them tries to shoot the other one… yet together they were friends at school.

School… back when knowledge was still the little brother of feeling, just trying to catch up and become worthy of that powerful force. Unfortunately, knowledge outgrew itself, even knowing how little it understands, yet becoming more significant than its big brother. In its constant attempt to rationalize, knowledge strangles and squeezes the life from the once so highly respected emotion. I FIGHT MYSELF. So if this is all there is, then somehow these two must once again befriend each other. And when they do, the fact that I let them fight for a time will only strengthen their bond… and my experience of life.

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