From the monthly archives:

April 2011

Plant seeds and have faith

by lulujane on April 24, 2011

Not everyone appreciates the feeling of their hand brushing along a piece of good fabric, inhaling the pleasure of scented dark, damp soil in spring – or, like a carpenter breathing in the smell of wood, luxuriating in the texture of fingertips gliding along a smoothly cut board.

Not everyone takes the time to appreciate the nuances of their relationships and the links of shared experience and understanding that join them to their friends and family.  My many relationships are individual things.  I appreciate the fabric and colour and texture and durability of the wonderful personalities and innate goodness in each of those who are dear to me… at all times, loving them for exactly who they are.

I have gratitude for my friendships and for the acceptance and respect we allow each other as we move through various stages of our lives.  Although it isn’t always easy, I strive to observe from a place of  love, compassion and acceptance.  We all make mistakes and can learn from them, tweaking and improving to keep ourselves on track. As painful as seeing our reflection mirrored to us can be, when we approach it with a willingness to see ourselves as others do, we will continually grow in our strengths, leaving more unacceptable behaviours in the dust.

I have watched some relationships that appear destined to flounder, and yet through time, patience, acceptance, determination, hard work and most of all love and cooperation, each partner helps the other to bloom.  The depth of their love and belief that there is something in the other worth saving and holding onto keeps them invested. There is a phrase that reminds me that sharing sorrows halves our pain, and sharing our joy doubles it.  In relationship, if we’re willing to hang in there, endure the discomfort, put ego and self serving agenda aside, letting go of unhealthy power struggles, being open to speak our truth, and very importantly, to listen, not only can the relationship become stronger and more enduring, but each person has a chance to become their best self.  There is a big ‘but’ here…. both people have to be willing to work at it.

There are times when, in the Winter of relationship, for one reason or another, a person is unwilling to look at himself/herself and see what to hold onto and where to give ground.  After all, some things are just not negotiable.  On both sides of the coin, it is necessary to retain those things essential to the wellbeing of our authentic selves. There are some things we must be unwilling to change because they go against the grain of who we are. We can’t sacrifice Self  to make someone else feel better.

Some people dig their heels in, selfishly taking for granted that they are married and their partner will always be there.  Some people stay in relationships for years, working their guts out in trying to make it work (or just settling), with the other staying rutted and comfortable kicking back on the threadbare sofa. The worker bee keeps trying, sometimes for years, because it seems easier than having to be the one to say ‘it’s over’. My question becomes “If your partner said the relationship is finished before you do, how would you feel?”  I once asked this question of someone in the throes of confusion and distress about what to do, and the answer was “relieved”.  Interesting that the only thing holding the relationship together at that point was a waiting for who would say it first. When one person yearns to grow and become better and the other is content to stand in hip waders in a deep pool of mud, making no effort to move, the best solution can be cutting bait…..

Where the love is strong, and the other person in your life becomes more important to you than your personal agenda, keep working at it and have faith.  Like the caretaker in a well tended garden keep planting seeds of love, trust and hope in the fertile soil of willingness. The potential exists for something magical to root, grow and blossom in the Spring.


Passion – you can’t fake it

by lulujane on April 22, 2011

Since September last year I have been a volunteer usher at Windsor Spitfire hockey games.  Windsor has a very strong and supportive fan base, and while everyone is cheering for the same team, they react in different ways to what is happening on the ice.  Some lift themselves out of their seats as they cheer.  Some fans are perpetually optimistic while others choose to boo, or sit looking moresely gloomy, negatively assuming that the worst is bound to happen at any moment.   Last night, when talking with a fan I met during regular season, I realized that some people ‘watch’ the game while others actively participate in it.

Last night I spoke with Mike shortly after the game finished – a very high energy, hard hitting, passion filled duel.  Excitement bounced off him as he described coaching philosophy and the action in the game. He felt proud of our local team.  This is a very positive fellow who I could take lessons from.  Without looking through the filter through which he sees his world, I sense that his first natural inclination is to see the good in things.  This resonates within me, like fine music moves me.

Mike’s passion for the game of hockey is so intense that I can imagine him feeling every hit,  skating hard in a breakaway, heart beating fast and catching his breath later, high-fiving to celebrate with his teammates; even though he is a fan sitting in Row I in a plastic seat midway up in the end zone.  His participation, giving it his all, has such commitment that he should be put on the payroll. Energetically, I imagine that fans like this have the potential to lift a team to higher realms of performance. As he spoke about the game his eyes sparkled with a fiery brilliance.  As an eager participant and player totally focused inside each game, it must take hours to relax.  When he does reach this plateau, he must sleep like a well-fed, contented baby, released from the state of emotional and physical exhaustion of a game hard and well played.

This brings me to passion.  A couple of weeks ago I saw his genuine excitement when we caught up between the third and an overtime period in a critical game.  Very energized, excited, shining from the inside and openly declaring that hockey is his passion.  When I saw it I could feel it; it tickled me and made me laugh.

I have always liked sport, but mine is a passive interest in the game. Observing Mike’s passion and in the presence of his high energy glow after this play-off game where our local team played with such heart, I could feel it too. I have a friend whose gardening and basket weaving do the same thing for her.  When reading a Freeman Patterson book on photography, his writing about photography revealed as much and possibly more to me about his passion, than did his famous photographs. It reminded me of the bliss I feel when, camera in hand and the potential for ideal subject matter presents itself, I am able to taste the exquisite beauty of things. There is no adequate way to explain the inner joy that lights me from inside.

I know how it feels to be passive and I know how it feels to be passionate.

Passion ignites and fires.  Passion – you can’t fake it.