Category Archives: relationships

Bruised bottoms…

There’s no fucking backup plan for falling in love. You fall. You stumble down some stairs, land flat on your ass and look up to someone who now appears as a giant before you. All other men, in comparison, ants. They lack the beautiful traits, the significant looks, and the commonalities the other man shares with you. They seem insignificant in comparison.

The thing is, you have to do it. You have to fall. You have to imagine that this man is better than all the rest, even if you know it’s an illusion. Because without that illusion, there are no butterflies. No tingles in your forearms. No longing so painful and so sweet a mere text messages makes you erupt in euphoria.

You want those feelings.

At the same time, of course, you need to be practical. This man, if any good, will end up your husband. He has to be able to express what he needs, while still thinking you’re some thinly veiled goddess. He has to be able to say the hard stuff and praise–generously–the good stuff. He needs to be able to build a reality with you where you are both happy. He will have to read the books you recommend about marriage, and go on a trip to Beijing even though he doesn’t want to. He has to get up at five on days you have a fever, to make sure you get breakfast in bed. And just like that, you have to do the same for him. You have to do things you’d never imagined just to learn to understand and aid this giant of a man. And that’s when it really helps to think he is a giant compared to other men. It helps to have butterflies in your belly. It helps to be seduced by his mind and body, heart and soul. It’s the fuel that will take you through.

But all of that can only last–the endorphin high–if the hard work is done.

And that’s why many people get off of the floor, dust their bottoms, and start climbing the stairs again. Because they aren’t willing to work. To learn. To compromise. Instead, the giant becomes a giant obstacle, hindering them on their path. Or the giant is uncompromising; unwilling to move.

Thankfully, for all of us, we’ve learned that falling and getting up isn’t too hard. Not when you’re on round twenty-five, or so. You’ve learned you can climb stairs, even in stilettos. You’ve learned you’re OK, even when you’re bruised.

And if nothing else, there’s coffee. Dark, divine, delicious coffee. Laden with just the right amount of honey to sweeten it and cream to tame the darkness. That coffee, served at an ungodly hour will kickstart you once more. Your internal engine humming.

There’s also tea. Drunk together with friends, who pat you on the back and give you another cookie. A sugar rush. Something to bring you back to the moment and forget your temporary insanity when you thought a mere man a giant.

Tea brings new adventures as souls set out on journeys together; discover new thoughts; decide to start up businesses; or go on spa weekends in the country. Tea is the glue that keeps souls together. And we all know when it’s time to put on the kettle and bake the scones.

Then, there’s wine and champagne when we are in need of a good giggle–bubbles bursting on our tongue and tickling our throat. Landing in our belly like butterflies. And as our mind ascends to a pink cloud, we look around and start seeing men. Maybe not giants, but men with potential at least. Men who wink at us and tell us we’re OK, even with our bruised bottoms. Men who’d be happy for us to fall for them–men who might even catch us as we stumble down the stairs on a giddy high. Men who would, potentially, consider doing the hard work. The push-ups that will give them the muscle that make us smile and lick our lips. The men willing to go the extra mile. If, of course, we do the same.

One day, you’ll meet a man who will remain a giant. Till that day, dust yourself up and brew some coffee–head to a friend for tea and go out for wine. Life. Feel it. Brewing inside of you until it bursts out in cascades of stars. Be a star. Glitter. Glimmer. Indulge in every moment. Drink the morning dew. Recognize it for the nectar that it is. Turn up the music and dance around the kitchen. Look out over the rooftops of Paris as many times as you need to get inspired. Run so fast you fall over and laugh uncontrollably with a runner’s high. Drive along the PCH till you feel freedom pump around your blood. Howl at a full moon. Set yourself free–scream with joy and jump in puddles–and discover the treasure right there at your doorstep. Especially if you’re in isolation–make sure that doorstep fucking shines.

At eight o’clock I call you

Waiting to hear your voice

Like a kid waiting for Santa 

Like a desperate woman pouring a glass of wine

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

You’re no hero

No man in shining armor

A tad bruised 

A tad battered

Scarred enough to be a man 

Lost enough to be human

But with an inner compass

Looking for the light 

At eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

The truth is

I learned to walk long ago

Both in high heels and bare feet

Even with sneakers in obstacle courses

And even though I sometimes stumble 

I know that I’ll win the race

Celebrate another day ending

And the next’s beginning

And yet at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

I can walk 

I can run 

I can pick myself up when I stumble 

I’m fine

I’m free

I’ll bleed and I’ll heal

I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward 

I’ll love and live and pirouette

Around the next corner

For yet another adventure

But at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I enjoy another 

Of life’s treasures

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde aka Maria Montgomery and yes, the copyright is all mine and all that.

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Filed under confessions, diary, Happiness, Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Love-life, Motivation, Musings, Poem, poetry, Relationship, relationships

To a beautiful soul…

Tomorrow’s blog will be all whips and chains. You know, a kick in the ass before the weekend. I like those Kicks up the ass.. The harder you kick, the more I’ll fight. The bigger the challenge, the greater my enthusiasm. Some people want offers they can’t resist. Personally, I tend to go for challenges I can’t resist.

I’ve thought about that a lot lately. I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I thrive on challenges. I love discipline. The harder you hit me, the higher I rise.

I’m never gonna stop loving challenges I don’t think. They’re addictive. Adrenaline fueled adventures into the unknown. Or simply running as fast as I can until I get high on endorphins. Try talking to me after a run and a cup of coffee. I will be delirious with happiness and overcome by enthusiasm.

The thing is, how I treat people is greatly the same as my father did: I give practical tips and enforce discipline. Often, I just wanted him to hug me and say it’ll be OK. Now, I’m the one dishing out “for fuck’s sake (wo)man up and change your life.” I don’t lovingly support people. I tell them to wake the fuck up and sort their shit out.

That’s how I treat myself as well. And in some ways, it’s really effective. Holding a gun to my head and telling myself to move, to do something — anything — to sort out whatever problem at hand, or rise higher in life, works pretty well at times. It’s just, when I need a hug, a helping hand, a caress, a pat on the back…I don’t know what to do. I think I’ve gotten better at it. Better at self-care. Better at asking for help. Better at allowing people to hold me, without me simultaneously telling them what my failures are. What I can get better at.

It’s just…you’re a beautiful soul you know. You sparkle and glitter. You’ve got kindness and love twinkling away in your heart. Maybe you’ve fallen on the ground a couple of times. Maybe you’re still lying on the ground. Maybe you can’t get up…maybe you’re crawling. But you’re still beautiful. You have gold speckles covering your body. Divinity floating about you in a cloud. Maybe you can’t access that right now. Maybe your mind is broken. Maybe your body too. But your heart and soul are intact. They always will be. You just need to find your way back to them if your life currently isn’t true to them. If your life is not a reflection of who you truly are deep inside. Allow yourself to recognize that you are love. You are divine. You’re no less, no more, than the person next to you. Life shaped you one way or another. That’s all. Inside of you are still all the wonders of the world and some. You’re beautiful. And maybe I’m not great at telling you that, because, well, I’m more prone to kick your ass, but I still see you, you know. I see the miracle that is you. And that’s why I’m here. Not because you’re broken, but because you’re whole. Because you are a heart and a soul. All the rest is just the topping.

Yin and yang. We need discipline. We need structures that hold us accountable to our highest self. But we also need love. We need someone who recognizes the divine in us. The purity that can be found within our soul. The love that exists there, even if it’s buried under a hundred layers of sorrow or hatred. Underneath all that is a diamond waiting to shine. You are that diamond. So am I. We are all beautiful.

Beyond our failures and achievements is a person — a heart and a soul — waiting to be seen. Someone who just is. I usually find that person by the ocean. A girl with her feet in the sand, or sea. Just a woman standing there. Not a failure. Not an achievement. No, just a heart and a soul, with her toes in the ocean. And that, that is the woman I want to be seen for. And that, that heart and soul, is who I see in you.

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Filed under diary, Friendship, Heart, Love, Psychology, relationships, Soul, Uncategorized

My choice to shine…

I just tried to Google duck recipes, but ended up with dick instead of duck. Just the way to start a Monday morning. Oh, and the toddler got out of bed to pee in the toilet, but peed standing on the floor next to the bed instead. 

Frankly, I’ve had a wonderful morning. These are just little funny events. The sun is shining, Cape Town looks glorious and people have been nice to me this morning. 

I was thinking about this the other day. People being nice. I was feeling a bit sad and angry because of something. Like I’d imagined this perfect day that just wasn’t happening. And instead of making the moment great, I just felt disappointed. Just then I ended up talking to one friend of mine that showed me kindness. Simply by helping me with some car issues. Just hearing his voice I calmed down, because I knew I have people in my life who care about me. 

And it hit me how much kindness matters. Yesterday my business partner went on a rant about how as long as I don’t have a stable boyfriend in my life, he is going to make sure I’m OK with the things that, in his opinion, a man should handle because clearly I have to multitask too much. It was really sweet. 

My kid’s homeschooling teacher this morning asked me how I was doing. Left me a message asking questions. That perked me up as well. Just knowing people care. 

I think it’s important to acknowledge the people in your life who are showing up for you by showing up for them (as mentioned in a previous blog, it doesn’t come natural for me to check in on people, I’m learning to do that) and sometimes, by giving them a gift or something else to show you care. I don’t always take time for this, and sometimes I’m too shy to do it, but I must start doing it. Because it’s who I want to be. 

Also, remember focus. When I was upset I was focusing on something in my life that wasn’t working as I wanted it too. When I spoke to my friend, I started focusing on things in my life that were working, such as beautiful friendships. That shifted my mood.

The thing is, we often get stuck thinking about how to figure out what’s not working. How to solve problems. Or simply reveling in the problems. When we do, we feel like shit. I could have been very upset about the peeing episode this morning. I wasn’t. Because I didn’t waste any time thinking about it. It took three minutes to clean up. Big deal. But when we’re frustrated, or sad, any thing is a big deal. When, on the other hand, we think about what’s working, such as living in gloriously beautiful Cape Town, having amazing people in your life and making more money an hour than some make a week here, we see these small events as funny. OK, I was temporarily frustrated as I didn’t understand the logic of peeing by the bedside, but it didn’t take long to see the humor. 

If there’s a problem, deal with it. Man up to it. Take charge. Don’t get stuck thinking about it. Take action. Any action. Start moving beyond it. If one thing doesn’t work, try another until you find a solution. Just don’t bury yourself in the problem. Everyone goes through shit. It’s how you deal with it that determines if it sinks you or you conquer.

I can write you a long list of problems I have and that Cape Town has, but I live in a city filled with sunshine and star shine, glorious beaches and tall mountains, incredible city scapes and natural wonders, tasty foods and delicious treats, roaring fireplaces and beautiful gardens, laughing people and shining intelligence… I live in paradise. If only I choose to see it that way. It’s my choice. Mine alone. My choice to see the wonders in my life and my city. My choice.  

Funnily, when you start seeing the things in life that shine, you start to shine. You start to sparkle. You become a star in other people’s night sky.

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Filed under Awareness, conscious lifestyle, Conscious Living, diary, Friends, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, kindness, Mindfulness, Motivation, Musings, relationships, self help, Self-help, The Mind, Uncategorized

The beauty of human connection…

People are wonderful, no? They’re who you get up for in the morning. Together with your passions, the beauty of sunbeams, running headfirst into playful winds and the taste of coffee and other delectables. Like chocolate. Oh la la. Pain au chocolat. 

I love the people in my life, yet I’m not particularly good at staying in touch with people. I know a lot of people. Like a LOT of people, because I’ve traveled the world and lived in seven different countries. Tends to foster friendships. But I’m great at isolating myself and terrible at staying in touch with people who aren’t in my immediate surroundings. 

There are many friends I have, in the four corners of the globe, that I’d love to see more of. But I just don’t generally message people regularly. No matter how close friends I consider them to be, or how much I value their presence in real life. 

In short, if you’re my best friend, or you’re dating me, I’ll probably message you fairly often. Otherwise, good luck. 

I talk to my business partner almost every day as well, but there’s a practical reason for that. I also call him when I’m beside myself about just about anything in South Africa. That also leads to a fair amount of phone calls.

Now, beyond that, you’re lucky if you get a message a year. Which is quite stupid, really. I was never good with small talk, so I guess it simply never occurred to me to message people. I’d prefer to write a ten-page letter. But now I have a blog, so those ten-page letters are usually posted there. Here, that is.

This year I became friends with someone who stubbornly left me voicemails. Daily. At first, I was annoyed as I’m a busy person and I think anyone who speaks with you daily is a stalker. To me, it was a completely foreign concept. Then I got really into it. Because, frankly, it’s quite nice to have someone check in on how you’re doing daily. Three-minute real-time phone conversations are even better. 

It’s about connection. You’re forging a human connection. And you’re creating a support structure — people who are there for you and you for them. Community. 

So now, I’m on a mission to connecting and reconnecting with people. Yesterday I blogged about how I want to share experiences with people; being appreciated for who I am. I’d like people to compliment my soul, while connecting with my heart. Wouldn’t we all? And that means, that I need to make an effort. I am. I have started texting people in the four corners of the world. I reach out to the people in my life where I am. I attend events to meet new people. And when I’m at home with the toddler I do my best to be present to the wonder that’s a three-year-old life. He’s a bundle of magical giggles and incredible tantrums.

Life is pretty epic when you’re connecting with beautiful souls. And drinking coffee. Don’t forget the coffee. And the pain au chocolats.

So meet me. By the Seine. With a pain au chocolat. And a cup of coffee. As the sun rises during my favorite hour of the day and we let our ideas dance along the water and spread, like mist into the morning sky.

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Filed under communication, Community, diary, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, relationships

I see me through you…

I always wanted to fall in love with an artist. I imaged we would sip wine while painting each other’s portraits and writing poetry about one another. I’m also pretty pro falling in love with anyone who’d look good in a beanie when showing up on my film sets (beacuse naturally he’d be wearing a beanie on set) and who’d, from time to time, be willing to travel the world and make movies with me. So long as we have a firm base somewhere. He’d also be adventure prone and love France.

Now, this wasn’t really about film sets and beanies (though I still imagine every man I date, wearing a beanie on a film set…I know, I’m so sane it’s frightening). No, what I wanted to blog about was the poetry and the art.

You see, love is a verb. An action. We experience ourselves through our interactions with others. When those interactions are loving, magic happens.

Someone can tell you they love you and that’s nice. They can tell you you’re beautiful and that’s nice (particularly if they’re referring to your soul). They can tell you that you make their world come alive and imaginary flowers blossom when you laugh and that’s nice. But there’s nothing quite like when they turn you into a piece of art, or show their love by doing things. Be it buying you a gift, showing up to take you out, cooking for you, rubbing your shoulders, leaving you a cute note, sending you an epic text, making love to you, or ironing your shirt.

Get me right: the spoken word is powerful. I love hearing how people adore me. But I only take it seriously once they start showing me how much they truly care by actively partaking in my life, looking out for me and being there when I need a hug, a helping hand, or just someone to talk to. And it’s through those interactions I experience myself.

We experience ourselves through others. We see ourselves through their actions. That’s why it’s so important that we choose the people we spend time with carefully. And it just so helps if they can turn you into art. And wear a beanie on film sets, just for you. So that you have someone to drool over.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

i’d like to see me

through you

please turn me into words

whispers in the night

images you see

so that i know

what i look like

please touch me

so i know what i feel like

By Maria Montgomery

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Filed under diary, Friendship, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, poetry, relationships, Uncategorized

I see your halo…

I always think there’s a sacred space between two people — it’s your unique connection. It exists nowhere else in the world; only between the two of you. It’s really unique.

But the connection between two people only stays sacred if you treat it as such. Yes, you may be uniquely connected — have things in common, fire up different sides of each other’s personalities, talk about things you don’t talk about with others, understand each other on different levels (emotionally, sexually, spiritually, intellectually) and so forth. But this is just the baseline. This is the connection. It’s not the relationship.

The relationship is how you treat one another. Do you show up for one another? Speak kindly about one another? Take care of one another? Make good on promises to one another? Hold a space of love for one another? Hold each other accountable for being the best you can be?

In short, are you committed to treating one another as sacred creatures?

The truth is, most of us weren’t raised to treat other people as sacred. We weren’t even raised to treat ourselves as sacred.

I’ve interacted with a lot of religious people who, presumable, see life as a gift from God. Yet, they don’t treat their body as sacred. They don’t treat their friends as sacred. They don’t treat strangers as sacred. They don’t even treat their life as sacred.

And while most of us try to do right by ourselves and others, we all fail at some point. Our learned behavior wrecks havoc in various areas of our lives. We don’t even understand how some areas of our life will ever work out, because they never have before.

Sometimes, we’re so far away from treating ourselves and others as sacred, we feel like giving up. We think we’ve lost the battle and might as well succumb to our sins towards self and others. But each day holds a new morning. What you did yesterday is not as important as what you do today. And if you start a new life today, even with baby steps, imagine where you’ll be ten years from now. Also imagine where you will be ten years from now if you don’t start with those baby steps.

So honor yourself by treating yourself right. And honor others by doing the same to them. Because each connection is unique. Each person is a unique experience.

It’s important to remember though, that beautiful connections is only half of what makes up beautiful relationships. Beautiful relationships can only be created when two people see each other as sacred and treat each other accordingly. That’s why there’s a big difference between attraction and love; passing connections and deep friendships.

You can always honor another soul, but you can’t always have a beautiful relationship with them. All you can do, is ensure your side of the equation remains sacred by honoring them and that, no matter how they view or treat you, your view of yoruself remain sacred. And by viewing yoruself as sacred, you also know when it’s time to walk away — be it from a toxic work relationship, or friendship.

I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective recently. About how our focus creates our reality. And I really believe that looking upon yourself, others and life as sacred makes for a much more beautiful reality. Because then your purpose becomes to live a sacred life; one in which you respect yourself and the world around you. One in which you seek to uplift yourself and others. One in which you take actions that honor yourself, others and life at large.

Sacred dizzy blonde, over and out.

P.S. Yes, I stole the headline. I didn’t say I was a saint, just that I’m sacred… I see your halo, halo, halo…

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Filed under business relationships, conscious lifestyle, diary, friendships, human spirit, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, Motivation, Musings, relationships, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Communicating from the heart…

Recently someone asked me what I thought about them on that one day when they met me somewhere. Automatically I told them that I thought they were raw and vulnerable that day and that it was nice. More than nice. Oh, and I wanted to rip their clothes off. 

He was like wearing this dark blue Ralph Lauren shirt and he was standing outside my office and he looked like… Oh, where was I? 

Ah yes, back to the story…

Then it hit me that that wasn’t the full truth. Because, while that was true, the first thing I thought when I laid eyes on them that day was: “I’m in so much trouble because I could fall in love with that man.” Literally. I think that was the first thought that hit my mind. But when asked what I was thinking, it was the last thought that hit my mind. Because my ego didn’t want me to say that. My ego reverted to what it thought it was safe to say. But by saying what’s safe, we never get what we want.

I used to think that emotions landed you in trouble. So I always acted aloof. Hence, I dated aloof people, who when you showed emotions for them, ran for the hills. So, I kept proving my theory to be true: you have to remain aloof at all cost. 

If I want to date people who aren’t aloof, I have to be open. If that’s what I’m showcasing, the right people will be attracted to me because they will see me. If I sell aloofness, guess who will be attracted to me? Yeah. The people who run when you show emotions. 

As my friend William Whitecloud said: Your heart is what you want and when you communicate what you want, you create a bridge to having it. Most people communicate what they believe they need to do in order to have what they want, rather than communicating what they actually want.  

I had some heartbreaking experiences as a kid and that’s why I started acting aloof. I thought that’s who you needed to be if you wanted to get a man to fall in love with you, while in fact the opposite is true. 

My ego got offended, so I started protecting my ego. Started lying about who I am. Instead of just being myself and knowing that the right match will find you and the rest will fall away. It’s simple, really. Once you remove the ego. 

And I have other ways of reacting that aren’t helpful when interacting with people too. I have to actively check what I tell clients, business partners, friends, family, etc. Am I saying what I want to say? Or am I doing and saying things in the hope of eliciting the reaction I want? 

It’s like making someone breakfast in bed and complimenting them in hopes that will spur them into taking you out for date nights, because that’s what you need to feel loved. You could just tell them that’s what you need to feel loved and ask them what they need? Maybe it’s not breakfast in bed. Maybe it’s something else entirely. 

What I’ve done in the name of provoking men to do the things I wanted them to do is too long a list to write about here. Let’s just say I’m doing my best to amend my ways. 

Anger is another classic example.

Next time you snap at someone, ask yourself if snapping is an effective way of communicating your feelings? Why are you snapping? What could they do to make you not snap? If it’s their fault. It could just be that you’re making assumptions that aren’t true. 

For example, some people assume that because their partner always works late, they don’t care about them, so they snap at them when they come home. This makes their partner feel unwelcome. Not just that: it makes them feel unappreciated for the work they put in to earn money for the household. So the next night, they work even later, or go to a bar after work; seeking appreciation elsewhere. 

The person snapping at their partner wants to feel loved, but doesn’t; that’s why they’re snapping. Creating a nasty atmosphere. Instead they could just say that they feel neglected and would like to feel appreciated. Feel loved. They can then ask their partner if there’s a way of creating that. Of doing something nice together where they both feel loved and appreciated.

This is a simple table explaining it: 

I feel neglected = I’d like to feel appreciated and this is what you can do to achieve it — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel appreciated? 

I feel disrespected = I’d like to feel respected and this is what I consider being respected means — do you have any other ideas for what it means? And how can I make you feel respected?

I feel unloved = I’d like to feel loved and these are things that make me feel loved — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel loved?

I don’t feel valued for the work I do = I’d like to feel like a valued member of the team and this is how I see that happening. Do you have any other ideas for making me feel valued? And how can I make you feel like a valued team member? 

Before I get anymore tangled up in trying to explain what it means to communicate from your heart, this is yours truly. Over and out. 

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Filed under business relationships, communication, friendships, Love, relationships

Catching a bullet for love…or catching the love bug???

I was speaking with someone the other night. Well, quite a few nights ago now, and he told me he thinks his definition of falling in love is “being willing to take a bullet for someone.” 

Personally, I always separated falling in love from love itself, as in Sweden when you say falling in love you use the word “kär” or “förälskad” and it’s neither the same as being in love, nor having a crush. I’d say it could go either way. It’s simply the person you have butterflies in your belly for (i.e. you’re on a rose colored high), be it that you love them, or not. So basically, falling in love, is not the same as loving someone to me. To me, loving someone is a lot more serious than falling in love. 

At the time we were chatting, I just thought about how we all have our unique definitions. But then, for some reason, this came back to me later as I started thinking about love itself. What is love? 

I, personally, have a penchant for wanting to help people. That means that if someone is sitting wounded on the roadside, I pick them up and care for them. Whether I have the time, the money and the resources, or not. This is often to my own detriment, but it also makes me feel good. Anyway, point being: to me it’s a gut reaction. Just like taking a bullet probably would be. And taking a bullet takes three-seconds. Being in a loving relationship is a lifetime commitment. 

I’ve often said that true love is wiping someone’s ass. Because if someone is old and sick and tired, that’s what you do for them if you love them. Love isn’t pretty. In fact, it’s pretty gruesome at times. But as I said when I was living with my grandmother in a hospice: the only thing worse than being here, is not being here. 

On the other hand, I don’t think love is about giving up your life for someone else. I didn’t — and still don’t — live in Sweden to please neither my grandparents, nor my dad or sister. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but my father has always been really firm on the “you should live your life” thing. My gran wasn’t like that and I think he told her off quite a few times. He made it very clear that she had had her life, living as she wanted to live. Now my sister and I had our own lives and needed to live as we wanted to. We’re all responsible for our own lives and filling them with love — beyond the family. You can’t just rely on family to be happy.  

And it’s true. Your life is your own. It’s your gift from God/the Universe. Your gift. You can do whatever you want with it. And if you don’t cherish it, it’s like giving the middle finger to the powers above (God/the Universe that is). They gave you a gift. Use it in a way in which it serves you and therefore others. Happiness is contagious.  

Destroying your life for someone else isn’t love. And it leads to a lot of resentment towards the person. Sacrificing things along the road is part of loving someone. You have to give up few things, but you can’t give up your entire life. And if someone asks you to do that for them, they don’t love you. They want to control you so that you do what they want you to do. Since when is that love? In short, they’re selfish bastards, even if they think they love you and probably do to the extent they’re capable of doing so. 

I still remember this quote from a book I read in my teens. It was in Swedish but it was something along the lines of: “To love is to free the person frozen in cement and see them dance, even if they’re dancing away from you.” I agree. 

In romantic relationships though, the whole point is to find someone who wants the same things out of life as you do. As the saying goes: you’re not looking for someone to look you in the eye, but for someone who is looking in the same direction you are. You want to create your dreams together. That means you need to have similar goals, as well as values. 

As far as commitment goes, while you should never have to ruin your life for someone else, love is about having 39 degrees fever and still preparing a meal for your child. Love is about showing up when you really don’t feel like it. It’s about getting up in the morning to make someone breakfast in bed when you want to sleep in. Because you want to show them you love them. And I think that, in a weird way, makes you come alive more. It forces you to get out of your own way and actually do something worthwhile. 

That’s supposed to be a two-way stream. You can’t bust your butt for someone who isn’t willing to do anything in return. You can love them. You can love anyone. Love itself is unconditional and I personally think you can love anyone whom you understand. Because once you understand why they are the way they are and see the heart hidden beneath the learned behavior, it’s hard not to love them. But you can’t be in a relationship with someone who isn’t willing to sweat it for you. 

I believe anything in life worth doing requires commitment. Or, as Churchill would have said: “Blood, sweat and tears.” That might make it sound “difficult” but a good day’s work feels good if it’s done for a person you believe is worth it, who does things for you in return. Think about work in general — when you do work you love, or do work for a good cause, even if it’s difficult, it makes you feel good. Like a good workout. It takes effort getting out the door, but once you’re working out it feels effing amazing. 

In fact, I believe a life without commitment (whether to work, people, or even ourselves — it takes commitment to serve your own body for example, through exercise and a healthy lifestyle) is partly what makes people depressed. Firstly, they have no sense of direction. They don’t know where they’re going or why they should get up in the morning. Secondly, it becomes all about them. They don’t have anything else to engage their mind in, apart form their own thoughts. And constantly thinking about yourself doesn’t feel good. Like how good do you feel when you try to analyze non-stop who you are, what people think about you, if you made the right decision ten years ago, if you’re good enough, if your latest Facebook pic is epic enough, etc.? Different people ponder different things, but it tends to be ego focused. Once you start living for something beyond yourself, you forget to obsess about these things. 

It’s actually been proven that charity work makes people happier and increases longevity. A) people feel good about themselves doing good for others B) it leads to social connections. It leads to love. 

Maybe one should also separate romantic love from other loves as there are many different kinds of love. So let’s rewind. I need to summarize my thoughts here…

First, there’s the love you can feel for anyone, because you see the human in them. See the heart in them. The kind of unconditional love you can share freely. And it makes you committed to doing right by them. Acting in a way you believe serves them. It doesn’t mean you like them. It means you understand why they are the way they are and that by acting nicely, at the very least, you have a chance of influencing them for the better. It’s the kind of love you can feel for all of humanity (and the planet at large). 

Then there’s the love you feel for people (usually the ones you grew up with) who cared for you at one stage or another, even if they were completely different from you. They were committed to you. Like my grandmother. If she’d had her way, I’d live in Sweden with a stable nine to five job, 2.5 children and a husband. I’d have been dead inside, but she’d been happy. She cared for me. She was there for me whenever I needed her. She loved me as best as she could. She sacrificed things for me. But she did not understand me. And I loved her. So much. She was one of the best things in my childhood. She taught me a lot about commitment. About being there for someone. But she didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to let people be who they are. And she loved guilt tripping people about who she thought they should be. 

We cared for each other. We were committed to one another. And by caring and being committed we created something beautiful, even though we had little in common.

You may not love them more, but the people who cared for us at some point who also understood us, we felt/feel closer to. Because beyond the commitment to care for one another, we also understood/understand one another.  

Similarly, you love friends on different levels. Some friends are super close, because you gel on so many levels and you’re truly committed to looking after one another. Other friends are somewhat close, because while you do gel on most levels, you aren’t that committed to looking after one another. Yet others, you only have one or two things in common with, but you do have a sense of commitment. A sense of caring; of looking after one another. 

Like if you ask me who I love the most, the answer is without a doubt my best friend. But it doesn’t necessarily mean I love her the most. It’s just I’m the closest to her. She understands me. She is committed to my wellbeing, even when it’s uncomfortable (such as telling me I’m acting like an ass, or need to do something I’m not doing — love involves doing the right thing even when it feels uncomfortable). She shares hopes and dreams with me — we’re looking in the same direction. Always have.

What’s more, even though myself and my best friend are attached by the hip, we can live in different countries. We have our own lives. We are OK not speaking for a month. And while I have no fucking clue what I’d do in a world without her, I still know I have my own life. I have my own friends. I have my own goals. I do things that make me happy. And that’s vital in any relationship. You can’t expect someone else to bring you happiness.   

With romantic relationships, I believe you need to have physical (bodily) attraction, sexual attraction (liking similar things in the bedroom), mental/intellectual attraction, emotional attraction and spiritual attraction. You may not hit a ten in all the different areas, but you need to be pretty high up the scale in most of them. On top of that, on top of “gelling” with one another, you need to have similar goals and values (wanting to build your dreams together), as well as a willingness to commit to one another. To sweat for one another. To make small sacrifices for one another. Because you believe it’s worth it. Because your relationship is worth the work and the sacrifices.

Gelling with someone, being attracted to someone…to me, that’s falling in love. The more attracted you are to them, the more you understand one another and have things in common, the more you fall in love. And while you can love anyone unconditionally because you understand humanity at large and are committed to doing right by people, loving someone within a relationship, to me, is another form of commitment. It’s the act of giving of yourself on a day-to-day basis.

I think commitment is beautiful. And I think my grandparents are greatly responsible for teaching me that. They gave me a sense of security in an unstable childhood. They taught me a lot about the selfless act of loving. Of showing up when you don’t want to, without for that matter giving so much you ruin your own life. 

I think loving someone on a day-to-day basis requires a lot more work and is a lot harder than catching that one bullet. But I also think it’s a lot more rewarding. For starters, you now have a purpose. It gives you direction. It makes you feel you’re doing something worthwhile. By caring for someone else, you feel good about yourself. Secondly, you’re around to reap the rewards. Like, say, morning sex after that breakfast you prepared. But then, as my sister says: I got the caring gene. I’d prepare breakfast for just about anyone in return for a smile. I love looking after people. My sister, on the other hand, once tried to kick me out of her flat when I’d just returned to Sweden sick with the flu, because she was scared of catching a bug and couldn’t be fucked to make me breakfast. I refused to leave. She apologized and made me breakfast. That’s family 101. Personally, I’ve had homeless people living on my couch. My sister calls me in a panic if anyone in the family is in hospital, because I’m much better at caring for them. I know what to say. The joke in the family? She’s the doctor, I’m the filmmaker. 

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For my lover: an invitation…

I want to see you. Naked. Beyond the covers.

No, I’m not talking about your scars, or your medals. But you. Your naked soul.

I want to connect with you. Feel you.

What is it that stirs inside of you? The wind that moves you? What is it that puts a smile on your lips, or butterflies in your belly?

I want to see all the engines inside of you combust into flames. I want to feel the passion of your heart. Raw. Unhinged.

And I want you, when you see me, to fall apart so that the blanket you’re wearing comes off and you stand naked in the sun, looking straight into my heart.

Who are you?

I’m not talking about who you became. Who life shaped you into being.

I’m talking about the person beyond that. The essence of your soul. The place you come home to. The real you. The heartbeats inside of you.

I want to be with you. The real you.

I want to bathe in the essence of your soul.

And I want you to see me. Feel me. Touch the core of my being with your fingertips. I want you to stare into my soul until the stars inside of me begin to twinkle and all else fades away.

I want us to write the poetry of our souls on pieces of paper. I want us to draw each other’s beauty on canvases. I want us to speak words that make us see who we are. I want us to experience ourselves through each other the way only lovers can.

I want our souls dance naked as our hearts create our dreams. Together. Beat by beat. Step by step. You and me. Together. Creating our dreams.

I want you. The real you.

By Maria Montgomery

Inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation.

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.

I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

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Filed under Love, Musings, poetry, relationships, Soul, soul path, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Faith…

Do you have faith? Faith in a higher power? Faith in your own abilities? Faith in the people in your life? 

When I travel I always have faith I’ll find somewhere to live that suits my needs. I have absolute faith that it will pan out. Because it always has. Even when I stood with a broken credit card no money in Paris at the tender age of nineteen, it panned out. 

When I travel I have faith life/God/the Universe will provide me with what I need. I also have faith in my own abilities. I know that if you ask enough people, someone will have what you’re looking for and I will find it. 

Moreover, I have faith that I’ll get through storms. I’ll get through them because I never give up. Even if I end up with one more scar, or one more wrinkle. I’ll win. 

Other people tend to admire me for this. Just today, my doctor was talking to me about this, as she knows some of what I’ve been through with the kids I help raise. A lot of people find me inspirational. Few see the pain that I’ve gone through with a lot of the “inspirational” things I’ve done. My doctor knows the pain. She’s the one dealing with my over worked immune system.

While I have faith I’ll get through storms, I am petrified of calm and quiet. I have very little faith I can live a happy life without a million storms. But I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of being overworked. I’m tired of caring for others when not being cared for myself. I’m tired of facing crazy ass situations that are mentally and emotionally draining.

I’m not tired of challenges. I thrive on them. But I’d prefer working out how to spend the millions of dollars I’m making from movies instead of working out how to survive on a dollar a day. I’d like different kinds of challenges than the ones I’ve faced in recent years. 

You know what I want? I want to have fun. I want to enjoy myself. I want to go on dates where I laugh till I cry. I want to dance till I’m spinning through the air. I want to crawl on the floor to get the perfect angle for a shoot (yes, I know, we all have different ideas of happiness). I want to laugh with my children. I want to bake cookies and have whipped cream wars. I want to drive with the wind blowing through my hair and the sun tickling my skin. I want to come home to a happy home. I want to be happy. 

This scares me. I’m scared the moment I relax all hell will break loose. Bizarrely, always worrying makes me feel safe. Being in the middle of a storm makes me feel safe. I’m scared of letting go and relaxing when things are quiet.

In the twelve steps in AA one of the steps is giving up your power to a higher source. When I sat in a hot tub in LA bawling my eyes out and asking a higher power for guidance as I was so depressed I couldn’t feel anything and didn’t have a clue what to do, I surrendered to that power. That way my depression started to lift as my reason for having it became obvious. And from there, what to do to move forward became obvious. Likewise, when I travel I have absolute faith that the journey will reveal itself. And it does. 

Having faith doesn’t mean you don’t have to take action. You do. It’s not like I don’t have to look for accommodation when I travel. I do. It’s just I have faith I’ll find it. I feel safe in the hands of God or whatever powers may be. Then I move my ass. 

Similarly, you have to have faith in the people in your life. Faith that they’ll do right by you. Faith that they can handle what life puts in their path. Faith they’ll do the right thing. Some won’t. But if you have faith, you know the wrong people will fall away. Because they won’t get what they want from you if you let faith guide you. They won’t get the payoff they seek. You also know that the right people will reveal themselves. That they will show up when you truly need them. That your life will be blessed with the right people. 

I want to have fun. That means I have to take the necessary steps to get there. I know I’m happy when I’m dancing. So it’s really obvious to book a class. Then I have to show up to that class. Faith is just knowing that it’ll be alright. That I’ll find the right teacher — even if it’s not on the first try. Faith that it will pan out. Faith that I’ll be happy on the dance floor once more. 

The truth is, I’ve avoided dancing for a long time. Just like I’ve avoided being in a stable relationship. Just like I’ve avoided having a stable home. Just like I’ve avoided having a straight forward career. I’ve avoided things where I feel I need to let go. Things that would make my life stable. Simple. Things that would take me out of the storm. Things that would allow me to relax. Because that’s my fear. Relaxing. The feeling of being relaxed and unguarded. Unprepared. Vulnerable. 

I want to be happy. I want to have faith I can be happy. I have faith. I have faith that if I truly hand myself over to a higher power, the necessary steps to be happy will reveal themselves. All I need to do, is take the obvious action. And it’s always obvious when you tune into yourself and allow intuition/a higher power guide you. You know what to do. What you truly need to do to get there. 

You might not like what you need to do. It may be uncomfortable; painful even. It’s not like showing up to a dance class for the first time in three years is without pain. I’m nervous. I’m scared I’m not good enough. I feel old. That’s part of the journey: facing your own inner demons and the growing pains you get from taking action. But if you follow through, you’ll get to where you want to be. To that place you truly desire. And I desire being on a dance floor. 

Life is in our hands, but for it to truly be so, you have to surrender. Surrender to not knowing. Surrender to a higher power. Surrender to faith. Then you fucking move your butt. 

Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926736064341/

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