Faced with the impossible task of getting the number of calls I needed to complete two reports, I came within a mouse’s breath of doing just that mid morning. I also had to deal with a gift card that didn’t show up and the never ending saga of ADP having double paid me thereby wrecking havoc on two check accounts – but a simple phone call on each yielded a loving, sympathetic person on the phone and within minutes – problems solved.
I was thinking back to our Sunday session with our What is Love? topic and the conversation we had – someone had posted on Facebook the other day that when someone loves you they see the magic in you. I was brushing my teeth and looking at myself in the mirror – the bald head, the wrinkles, the softer around the edges than desired me. I thought of a man I loved who I used to watch get out of bed naked and walk across the room and how I loved everything about him that he saw as flaws – I loved everything because they all added up to him. I had loved the magic of him.
The other day when our group talked about self-love, I told them how when I first lost my hair, I would look at myself in the mirror and a voice would say, “you’re ugly” “you’re alien” “you look like a freak” “no one would love you” and how after a long time of hating myself, another voice started showing up who would shout back, “that’s mean” “shut up” “that is not nice” – and as these voices vied for control of my mind, I took up meditation and waved goodbye to the both of them. Oh, but they do sneak back – both of them – and I’m aware of each one and how they want to dominate the conversation. I watch the argument ensue and I stay out of it.
I want to be still in my mind.
As I brushed my teeth and looked at my wrinkles and my bald head and my softer edges, I thought about how I have been loved for the magic in me too.
On Valentine’s Day, I, sort of in a half-joking manner, posted Queen’s Somebody to Love on Facebook. Then that Saturday when Tin returned from soccer, I was helping him take off his shin guards and long orange soccer socks and we had sat on the carpet in a patch of sun that was streaming through the window. We had been through this grueling winter and it was a pleasant day and the sun felt so good on our bodies. Tin said, “Mommy, would you lay down here with me and cuddle?” And so we did – we spooned on the little patch like cats sun worshipping and he said, “I love you.”
He said it was such feeling that I knew he truly meant it – there wasn’t a doubt in my mind.
Today, a friend asked to treat me to lunch. We went to Namese – one of the latest Vietnamese restaurants to crop up in the city – and over bún we caught up on work, love, and kids. At some point, she was talking about her relationship and I told her about how I had learned to love the shadow in me, and I had learned to stop passing judgment on me, and in doing so, it was helping me stop hating the shadow in others and judging them and it was helping me really learn about love.
I told her about the voices in my head.
I told her about my meditation.
She said, “I love you.” And she said it with such feeling that time stood still for that moment because I knew she truly meant it. The sun was causing me to squint and my eyes were tearing up and I felt loved to my core.
My friend loves me and I love her. But more importantly in this love, I saw that she wanted to return home to her love and love him better.
I came home feeling high – floating – and I went to go get Tin from school. The weather was beautiful despite the warnings of storms and humidity.
Later, I was taking him to Tatjana’s, and another friend called and asked if I could go have a quick dinner with her. We went to Houston’s and as we were finishing our meal, the manager came over and said he had seen me in there a few times and I told him that I used to work at the Houston’s in Metairie back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. He picked up our check and said that dinner was on him.
A RED LETTER DAY. Mark this one down.