Category Archives: Life

Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114399/

 

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Filed under Friendship, Life, Love, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, relationships, self help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The milk and cookies rebound…

We’ve all had one right? A rebound. The restoration shag, or date, or…just about anything goes so long as it’s not Him or Her. It’s like milk and cookies when having a bad day: it restores your mind and heart by giving you a rush. You’re no longer down in the dumps, you’re functioning again. You might even see the rainbow after the rain.

For that reason, I am all pro rebounds. You went from being down in the dumps to functional. Realized there were more people to date than your ex. Marvelous. Or if you were onto the milk and cookies rebound, you found some energy and realized the world wasn’t half as bad as you thought half an hour ago. Again: marvelous.

Restoration shags/dates/cookies, if you so like, are one way of getting out of the dumps and back into the world of the living. The problem (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)? The problem is that if you’re constantly living your life in reaction to events, you are no longer the captain of your ship (mind and body).

You had a bad day, so you call your friend to go for drinks, to take your mind off the day. That means you aren’t going there to enjoy the company of your friend and the bar; you’re going there to get away from your thoughts about the day. Which means you aren’t likely solving whatever problem is bugging you either.

In other words, what’s your end result for the evening? Moping about your problems, running away from them, or having fun with your friend?

That’s not to say that venting, getting love and encouragement from a friend, or taking your mind off things, isn’t a good idea. It can be a great idea. If that’s what you want to create. If that’s what your heart desires.

The thing is, we do all sorts of shit just because of how we are feeling in the moment. We try to release whatever tension we’re holding around something by doing something else. If what you truly want is to create a relationship with your soulmate, going to a bar to find someone to shag is not going to get you any closer, unless intuitively you know that going to that bar that night will take you closer to your goal.

Rebound techniques are similar to simply unleashing our frustration. Like, you know, wanting to create an amazing relationship with someone, only to yell at them when they say, or do something that hurts you. Do you really think you’ll create what you’d love (an amazing relationship), by trying to hurt them because you feel hurt?

Whether you’re feeling frazzled, or happy, stop. Ask yourself what you’d love to create right now. What would you truly love to create? Then take obvious action.

If you’re feeling lonely one night, then curling up on the couch with a movie and a bucket of ice cream might make you feel better, but what becomes obvious is that you should find something to do where you meet people. Possibly not that night, but for the future. Open Google and do some work on that, then you can have the ice cream and the movie.

Quick fixes are sometimes brilliant solutions as they get you in the right frame of mind for creating what you’d love, but remember that if you want to create long term highs, you need to ask yourself what you’d truly love to create, not just resolve the psychological tension around whatever’s bugging you at the moment.

Aniston and Butler in a photo shoot for W Magazine. Unfortunately there are no cookies in there, but see, I found at least one sexy picture with milk… 

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Life’s a bitch and then you have an orgasm…

Do you ever complain about life? I do. Life can be a bitch sometimes. Seriously. And there are times when you despair. You’ve banged your head against the same wall for what seems like an eternity. Every door that opened got slammed in your face, or led to a dead end. Your thoughts start circling in a negative downspiral and life starts feeling like it sucks.

This year I decided to pull my head out of the gutter. However, there have been a few slamming doors this year too and after walking head first into a door rather recently I started despairing. I thought I’d be stuck in the same situation forever. And as one thing was tied to another, that was tied to another, that was tied to another, I felt trapped. Like I’d never find a way out. The kids I help raise are in Cape Town, so I need to get back. For that reason I can’t change jobs, can’t do this, can’t do that, am financially strapped…and I have felt very stuck for a very long time.

Have I felt like a victim and pitied myself? Oh you have no idea. Have I gotten angry and wanted to punch a number of government officials? Hell to the yes. Have I panicked and felt like the lousiest extra parent in the world and hated myself for it? Gosh, you have no idea what a terrible person I am and how much I can possibly hate myself. Have I awoken in a state of panic from dreams of the kids, screaming, hyper ventilating, or crying? Way too many times to count. Sometimes I’m scared of sleeping.

Have I wanted to give up? Yes. I’ve felt like there is no strenght left in me. Like I’ll never win this fight. Like there’s no joy left in life. Like there is no way out of this blooming visa-adoption-career nightmare.

This year I decided to choose art. Choose poetry. Choose magical moments. Choose to believe that what I can do for the kids is a blessing, not that what I can’t do is a curse. In general, do what I can to enjoy what I can. When a door closes a window opens. It is all about that window. About the moment. About what you can do.

Some times are harder than others. It’s inevitable…and sometimes we invite it by doing something utterly stupid. We need to forgive ourselves. Give ourselves the gift of allowing ourselves to enjoy the moment. Give that joy to others. And slowly change our life and that of those around us simply by growing flowers in the mud. As the story goes, I prefer satin and Egyptian cotton sheets, but there’s nothing saying you can’t have an orgasm on whatever you picked up at Ikea. And I’m talking about the sheets you pick up there, not the men. Should Ikea come up with an invention for “easy-to-put-together-Scandinavian-men” that included the perfect user manual maybe I’d consider it, but Scandinavian men are generally not my type. I prefer the more exotic version…

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Poem No. 69: Desire of Life. Writing poetry for Magique is one of the things that’s resurrected my spirits this year. Poetry, to me, is like growing flowers in the mud when you focus on the beauty of life. This poem was written today. More poetry can be found here

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Maybe that night we make love till morning…

Sometimes we feel small and insignificant. Much like a tiny girl, walking up a massive mountain. We aren’t quite sure of where we are, or where we will end up. We have an idea of where we want to go – to the top – but the path is winding and we can’t always see the top – there is fog, trees and sometimes fires blocking the sight.

There are nights, when we are curled up by the fire watching a starry sky, and we feel calm and serene, and the path we are walking feels like the loveliest thing ever. Our muscles are tired after a day’s worth of climbing, in fact we are feeling tired through and through, but a good tired – we lived. We lived to the full and we are still buzzing, still filled with life and life force. We are almost giddy with excitement of all the wonders we have seen and are yet to see. Our eyes are still glazed with the beauty of butterflies catching the morning breeze underneath their wings, or the glorious sight of rainbows and waterfalls. Maybe a sudden thunderstorm filled us with power, with lust and then a gentle drizzle calmed our spirits shortly after, only to be followed by sunshine that made us laugh.

We may be sharing our camp fire with some exhilarating stranger we have met whose faces tell tales of faraway countries and adventures more fearful, more wild than we could ever imagine…or maybe adventures so sweet and lustful we can only dream of….and maybe, maybe one day achieve. Or maybe we are sharing the fire with gorgeous loved ones who are accompanying us on our journey and feel as familiar as our favorite spice.

Maybe the night is filled with laughter and excited whispers and tender words. Maybe children are playing and grown-ups smiling. And maybe, long after the kids have gone to bed, everyone is sharing tales that make our heart sing. Maybe we have found a boy whose eyes are sparkling in the moonlight and seemingly reflecting not just the moon, but our own soul, making us feel understood. Maybe for that moment it all makes sense – the search, the climb, the path that we are now on. Maybe that night we make love till  the morning.

At other times we are utterly lost – it’s raining, our knees are aching, we can’t see the top of the mountain – we are walking upwards, but we have no idea if we will ever reach the top, or at least find enough treasure to buy a fire that is always burning, a bottle that is always full, a bed that is always protected and love that is always tender. We are fearful, tired and soaked to our bones. We seek the light in our soul, the inner warmth, the love we know is hidden there, but the fear is overwhelming and the panic seemingly real as the night closes in on us and we shiver.

We  think about friends we have lost, lovers that crossed our path. We think about the chances we never took and those we should never have taken. We think about our own death and wonder where we will be then? Will we have reached the top? Or will we still be fearful and lonely?

We try to fight it, to be strong, but we only get angrier and angrier with ourselves when we do – because we are meant to be strong, right? We are meant to conquer the rain and walk with joy in our heart. We are meant to have learnt enough to find our way by the stars. We aren’t supposed to be lost, or lonely, or tired, or hungry. We are supposed to know better, be better.

Then, we give up. We remember what being truly tiny meant – what it was like being a child. When the world felt large and scary and we jumped up into our parents, or siblings laps and cried, or were just held tight. We were stil told that we were beautiful, that we were loved. No one gave up on us because we slipped and fell. They just hugged us better. We remember that it was OK then. OK to be lost and frightened and sooner, or later we found our way – whether by ourselves, or with the help of others. We felt tiny back then too. We felt scared back then too. But we weren’t angry with ourselves. We just were. We just allowed ourselves to be and somehow, somewhere, we always found the love we needed to find, the light to lit up the deepest night.

Then we take a moment to rest. We sink down, our back towards a cold fir-tree. The cold, suddenly intense against our back, awakens us. We look around. We see a tiny hare, followed by another tiny hare, looking out at us from underneath the bushes. We slowly reach out our hand. We are in desolate parts where man rarely walks and the hares have not yet learnt to fear us. We slowly look at them, as they are looking at us. In their eyes we see our own fear and trepidation reflected. We see curiosity and hope. We see warmth and love.

One of the hares slowly, slowly moves over, seeing whether to trust us. And then, with a final jump it is by our hand, sniffing it. Its nose feels warm against our cold skin. It keeps sniffing around, then suddenly jumps up, into our lap, and looks at us with big eyes. The other hare now follows, carefully, but bravely, seeing the success of its fellow friend. And then, you have them both in your lap, sharing their warmth, their lives with you.

Everywhere the rain is drizzling, turning the wood into a hazy, almost surreal place. The raindrops glisten in the final hour of dusk and the sun is making one last effort to shine through, turning everything golden. You feel a little warmth from it against your skin and the hares’ body heat radiating through your clothes, into your stiff, frozen bones. For a moment you are sharing your life with two other creatures, like yourself, trying to stay warm, find food, love and happiness. You are helping each other, understanding one another. Suddenly life has conquered and you once again feel calm – inside a new dawn has awoken.

You feel fresh. Every part of you has been shaken – you have been lost and you are still lost, but inside you have found the light. You know that as night comes rolling in you will eat some food that strengthen your body and find peace in your dreams. You will then awaken with the sun and move towards new horizons. Maybe with some furry friends by your side.

It is impossible to know if we will ever reach the top of any mountain. Life is an adventure and as such, we know that there will be struggle, there will be loss, but what will always save us is our own life force, our own love of that which surrounds us, that which we do and those whom we love, including ourselves.

We will continue to get lost and we will continue to get found. Storms will shake us and events move us. We will lose what we have found and move on to find love in unexpected places.

The best we can do is find our own heart, our own peace. We can never know what storm is coming next, or how far we will get the next day. We can only continue to move with a purpose in our heart, which gives meaning to our journey. We can continue to build love in our heart, which will strengthen us and keep us calm in the eye of the storm. We can surround ourselves by love, by doing what we love and taking time to build friendships with those we love, or those we think we will come to love. We can give of what we have, as well as our gifts, our talents, and share our lives with others.

We can love and with love always comes a treasure.

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You are simply beautiful to some…

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Today, as I was getting out of the tube, one person laid eyes on someone they knew and started waving. I could only see this person’s back, but the smile on the receiving end (the guy he was waving at) was so big it made me smile. And that’s life. It’s so beautiful when two people really appreciate one another – when they bring smiles to each other’s faces. When they share this world, so if only for a while.

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Do you like whips and chains, or strawberry champagne???

Pastiersky bič

Whips...hearts...it's one big cocktail...

Did you ever think you were whips and chains to find out you are strawberry champagne? Or the other way around? Or maybe both? Did you ever doubt your desires, longings, passions, heart, intuition, love…and search in vain for an answer in the skies? In signs around you? In the treetops? In people’s dear opinions? In travels? In teachings? Only to find that the answer rested within your soul and your heart gently whispered it in your ear? But maybe you were too busy looking at some confusing fact, or telling yourself what should be right, or maybe staring yourself blind at the pretty sunset not daring to leave in search of the dawn you always dreamt of, or listening to some story (or five) you had already made up a year, or ten years ago?

Sometimes we fall in love with the person next door, because they happen to be the person next door. Sometimes we set up a lumber business because our neighbor happened to have a lumber business. Sometimes we, on the contrary, go all the way around the world only to realize that the person next door was the one we wanted and the lumber business was always our true passion…the rest was just a dream, an attraction set up because we ourselves were not fulfilled…basically: the fulfillment we sought in others needed to be found in ourselves for us to be able to see the gift that was always there, right in front of us, or next to us…or somewhere close by…

If we do not fulfill ourselves first, no kick outside of ourselves will ever be fulfilling, but we will keep wanting them (as the last one didn’t solve the problem either…we move onto the next…then the next…the bigger car, the prettier girlfriend…or just the different girlfriend…something new…something else…maybe then…) unless we first find satisfaction in our own heart and soul: then we can find the real deal. The passion, the person, the place…the whatever that complements us, rather than replaces something broken inside.

I believe that it is only when we set ourselves free – when we allow our minds (and sometimes our bodies) to travel all around the world, without fear, completely free of whatever it is we have been telling ourselves, or have been told by others – that we can know what we want.

It’s comfortable for us to know that the person that makes our cup of tea when we get home, cuddles us when we are lovesick, laughs at our jokes and talk to us every day is there every day. It’s uncomfortable knowing it’s not them you have felt the greatest love and respect for, or connected the most with.

It’s equally uncomfortable knowing that the adventure for which you left the person who loved you, was nothing more than a castle in the sand – the real deal, the one made of stone, was the one you had. The one you took for granted. The one that was built on love, rather than excitement. The one that you did not believe in as you did not know yourself – you were the one not ready for the real deal. You were the one still searching for the broken piece of you to get fixed…the one thinking that lay outside you. This was the relationship you should have put the excitement into by being present, loving and wild.

Some invest years in education, or working their way to the top of a company, only to realize that their true passion is something else…something which leads them to start all over from scratch. To finally go on the adventure they always kept locked in their heart. To finally be free. Be who they are.

Yet others leave a company only to find out that it was them, not the company that lacked passion. They needed to rekindle their soul, their love, their passion and come back with a different outlook – a different tactic for dealing with things.

Sometimes things, people, events, businesses are right for a period, sometimes for forever. Life is not at standstill – if we stand still things evolve and we get left to start over on our own and if we evolve, well then things either evolve with us, or we move ahead to new pastures. Even if we fucked up the best ever deal, the best ever relationship, the best ever whatever: if we evolve, soon the best ever will be that much better!!!

It happens ever so often we come to a crossroad – we have been forced to choose. We can choose to ignore the new path that has crossed our way, or we can follow it. And sometimes, the new path is the old path. I had to make that choice in LA – to stay, or to leave – and let me tell you: it was scary. I have no greencard. I have no ticket back. I had to choose. I had to follow my heart. It took me six months to make that choice, even if friends tell me I made it way before then…if so it took me six months to dare to follow that choice. Maybe I needed that. Maybe that was just the preparation to be had. Life threw me a few events that helped solidify my decision. Who knows? All I know is first I had to get to know myself (my stories) and separate heart from illusions…different pulls, different wants, different needs…from that core intuition. And maybe I was wrong…I cannot judge…but it feels right. And that feeling of right makes me feel at peace….free….calm. Makes me…happy.

Home is where the heart is, so is love, business and life. First we find our heart, then we find our home.

Champagne, anyone???…

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This doesn’t need a sexy headline…

Jules Cheret, Moulin Rouge, 1890 Art Nouveau p...

Spectacle magnifique...

So here’s a real confession and maybe I shouldn’t blog about this because it feels way too personal and real and painful and embarassing…but the truth is that I swore to share how I feel, so that others could stop being afraid of how they feel and dare to be themselves. So here’s me, being myself. And maybe I’ve said it all before in different ways, but sometimes things hit you straight in the face and…feels more real, more tangible than before…and much, much more silly…

You know when you feel small and insignificant and silly and stupid? Like when the guy you thought was Mr Right starts flirting with the girl to your left? Mhm. And you want to cry. You feel trampled upon, angry, sad, furious…but if you are anything like me, you choose a pair of heels that are one inch higher, a skirt that is one inch shorter, you nail the business deal, you walk with swagger and you make sure you outdo yourself in just about everything. Suddenly you are confidence itself: your voice is louder, your jokes funnier and you look better than you did age 16. You seek attention and you get it. You lap it up like a cat laps up cream. You are licking your wounds, trying to stop them from bleeding and the praise from others sort of cover the worst of it. Works as some sort of band-aid, but the wound is still there. So you make your shell a bit tougher to protect it. And through it all you may gain some more confidence, because your skills grow. You become more comfortable being you, because you are determined to kick ass – to create something for yourself. You may even move beyond that to realize that you are fine no matter what – so if the world falls on your head and you amount to nothing in this life, you will survive and you will laugh. You are happy. You let go of everything and suddenly, as if by magic, you make great friends, business blossoms and it all seems to come together effortlessly, but your heart, when it comes to love, is closed. You date people who either aren’t interested, or aren’t interesting to you, or have their hearts as closed as yours. You have blossomed into the person you always wanted to be, but your heart…your heart is crying for your attention. As soon as it senses love, feelings for someone, you tell it to shut up and you get ready to fight; to prove something… The area around the heart has grown tough and hard, rather than warm and open. When you date you try to prove your worth instead of your love. Your love you do not wish to show to anyone, because what if? What if they won’t like you? What if your love is like this sticky nasty thing that they just feel suffocated by? What if you can’t be loved? What if you are just like doomed not to be loved? Maybe you can be sexy and gorgeous and hot and great to everyone, but the ones you love? Maybe you totally lose confidence when it comes to love? Like you were fine up until that moment. You really felt you lived a magical, wonderful life, as the happiest most confident cat in the block no matter what and then…one look and you lose it all. Or one feeling, should I say. One intense, true feeling and you are reduced to a heap on the floor. An unsexy doormat. A shivering piece of jelly. And of course you picked a guy who wasn’t interested in supporting you, loving you till you recover and walk with swagger. He wanted the confident cocky little thing he met on the first date. And to cover up the jelly like doormat feeling inside you put on the whole charade, the whole show all over again…and the show would be REAL and true to you, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was fueled by fear…because it really is you and you really do love it all, it’s just your intentions behind it aren’t free…clean, fueled by love, what have you. You aren’t doing it with an open heart. You use little tricks to impress instead of sharing your joy, your heart. And what if those people you date only want that A-list something instead of your heart? That vulnerable soft thing inside that really aches? What if they knew all your fears and paranoias and your bad moments and your bad breath and the fact that you aren’t always the hottest, smartest, funniest person on the planet? What then? Would they still love you? Or did you maybe attract the ones that only wanted what you showed off as that was what they were looking for and not that soft spot inside that actually is very warm and loving and caring and extremely…gooey? Like lovey dovey romantic silly? Maybe that Agent Provocateur thing was just a cover and the real you is more like a crazy burlesque show at the Moulin Rouge, with an added twist of magic? Maybe you aren’t a sharp business woman, but rather a dreamy artist who loves business? Maybe you are just you and that you is aching to come out? And maybe instead of wanting a nicer dress, a higher paying job, a fitter body and a new sex trick, you’d want to open the doors to your heart and just dare to be? As you are…loving…open…soft…

Truth is: I am what I am and no matter what skills I acquire  and how good I get at something, I will always be me. Either you love me as much when I’m lying in bed and shaking from fever as you do when I stand on stage in a mini-skirt, cracking jokes, or you don’t love me at all.

My heart is gonna get to run free from now on. I’ve treated it bad enough through the years. From now on it will be allowed to love as much as it pleases. It will be allowed to sing for joy for no reason. To shiver from sorrow and break when it gets hammered upon. It will be fine, because as long as I allow it to love, it will always heal. It will always feel good by the end of the day when there is love flowing freely, even when it’s aching.

Hearts were made to love. To make love. To give love. To love endlessly and forever. It really is that simple and frightening…and liberating and healing and joyous and wonderful…and loving… Here’s to our hearts!!!

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