Happy Valentine’s Day

Who needs just one Valentine when you can have 7.125 Billion?

As I’ve gone about my day, witnessing the little love moments exchanged between people of all shapes, colors, ages and sizes, I’ve recognized myself, loving me all over the place.

And I’ve been operating in my life these past days out of a new, daily commitment, asking myself the question: what would a person who loves herself do? And I ask this with every conscious decision I make. Do I want chai or a green juice? (What would a person who loves herself do?) Turns out, my body wanted both. And dessert, and a bouquet of flowers.

And it’s interesting, in operating from this new listening for myself, I’m being gifted. A medium chai for the price of a small. Just because. A dollar off on my bouquet of flowers and an extra carnation thrown in there. Just because.

Because when I love me, I love 7.125 billion people, and one by one, you each love me back. Just like that.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.

©2015 Melissa Simonson

Waking up

It’s a funny thing to live a life that is sourced by love and to perceive harshness all over the place. I built quite the character who is mighty vigilant at seeking out and creating what she thinks is “not love.”

Even that character is loving me with what she knows–every time I experience “not love” I get to awaken to the awareness that those experiences, too, are loving me, awakening me with every illusion I’ve attached to that falls away. And I’m ready to let that character go, too.

I’m waking up. I’m waking up. I’m waking up. I’m waking up.

Melissa

Til Next Time, Madison

I’m waking up one last morning in Madison, WI before heading back home to Brooklyn, NY later tonight.

Home–such an ephemeral experience for me, right now.

I arrived in Madison 2 weeks ago to discover just 2 days into my time here that life as I knew it in NYC was now forever altered. My relationship and our blossoming plans for a life together lay dead in the ground where moments before they had their own heartbeat. I was devastated, my ego grasping for some illusory semblance of control where there was none. I felt utterly alone and struggling to make sense of it all.

I wake up this morning, two weeks later, still in pain, my mind playing its games and weaving stories that make my heart ache with longing and anger and sadness…and yet something has transformed.

I have been blessed to work with 9 extraordinary women in this time. Women who I have been privileged to support as they blossom into their own truth and power–and in the process they’ve unknowingly realigned me with mine.

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with my best friend for the past 21 years to be reminded of the kind of unconditional love that transcends time and distance, and to witness her on fire with passion and purpose as she continues to expand on her path–such an inspiration to me. And then, there are her amazing kiddos–sleepovers with miss JJ only get better through the years.

And at the heartbeat of this trip, I have been here each day, supporting my mom, caring for her doggies…shoveling snow, of course…and finding myself.

I now pass the torch of care for my mom onto my sister who has also been a godsend in helping me process my grief these past 5 days.

I head back to Brooklyn with a heart that is filled with complex emotions, with visions of a future lost, and new ones emerging. No longer part of a “we” or an “us” and also more excited and empowered to be ME than I’ve felt in a long time.

Just me, finding home in the depths of my own being. It’s not as exciting as finding home in a place or another person, perhaps, and yet, it’s more dimensional…more real, somehow, more spacious and freeing.

With each day, with each losing and letting go, I’m coming home to my own heartbeat and discovering little by little what is truly meant for me.

Til next time, Madison.

:)Melissa

The power to bless

It was an intense day on NYC public transport–trains cutting their journeys short due to station investigations, and something was in the air, people throwing f-bombs at each other left and right, strangers becoming more estranged, hurt people creating weapons with their words.

And then there was this: A man counting money he made from busking with his drum, striking up a conversation with a man he didn’t know and exchanging kindness. Just before getting off the train he said, “We all have the power, but it only works if we use it together.”

And I touched him and said, “Amen”–the only thing I could really say in the face of such truth.

And I remembered in that moment, my power to bless with my presence, my listening, with my kindness. We all have that power, and it only works if we use it together.

:)Melissa

Love is a continual practice of letting go…and letting go…and letting go

As I receive unconditional love and acceptance from my partner on a whole, new level for me, I am being confronted with inner demons that I didn’t fully know were there.

Because relationship is simply a mirror for our own relationship with ourselves, I find that as I experience love flowing in, that love is being matched by an equally powerful self-doubt and in all honesty, a self-loathing that is both painful and surprising. The mirror is being held up and I’m seeing all of the qualities that I didn’t even realize I find unlovable within myself, all of the ways that I reject myself. My ego is squirming this week and looking for cover…big-time. The mask is falling away and I’m coming face-to-face with my imperfection.

There’s a very young voice that comes forth inside of me wondering, “Have I gone too far this time? Have you seen too much? Is this the point when I make the love go away?” It is raw, vulnerable, down-right terrified.

I’ve found myself experiencing deep shame at various points this week, judging myself, feeling tremendously insecure, wondering when the stronger, empowered…get this…more lovable me…will return. You know, the me who “has it all together.” This week I’m being challenged to surrender a deeply ingrained belief about myself, about love–that I have to control your experience of me, that I have to act and operate in a certain way in order to be worthy of your love.

And as I’ve been the snotty, needy, victim-minded, emotional mess…ummm…not the me I wanted my partner to see, I’m having to face this fear head on: What will happen when I’m not playing the part? When I let the wounded little girl come out of the closet? What will happen when I’m not in control?

And well, I’m finding out even as I write.

I see now that the deeper the love, the deeper the surrender that’s required. Love is a continual practice of letting go, and letting go, and letting go.

And the most challenging and beautiful part of this whole process: It’s not my partner’s job to love me. It’s MY job. It’s MY job to heal this old wound and to hold myself gently. Right now, loving myself as I’m facing my “ugly” parts is in writing this post, it’s in creating spaciousness for myself, focusing on what matters to me, and it’s in allowing myself to be seen and believe in the love I’m receiving from my partner. Slowly, and steadily unfurling my petals despite how “unsafe” that feels. And breathing. And breathing.

Real love is no fairytale. It doesn’t just show up and good feelings abound happily ever after. It challenges us, stretches us, grows us…heals us. It’s so much more dimensional than a fairytale. It’s not perfect. It’s real life. It’s an opportunity to see who we REALLY are, and love what we find there…even when we don’t. 😉

All my love,

:)Melissa