Warrior for Love

moon-625450__180

I’ve learned how to love a man by watching wise women. Mostly, they’ve learned the way we all do—life. Some of the best relationships I’ve seen are third-rounders by try-harders determined to get it right. Others are first-timers who acknowledge luck, serendipity, and stick-to-it-ness.

My best friend learned by leaving and slamming the door for a damn good reason on the only man she ever loved—then, opening it to find him and love again.

Women getting love right, I salute you. Women who found your ideal mate, no matter how many frogs you fell for along the way, well done. Those of you stacking up the decades and gluing them together with joy, hard work, and well-earned connection, impressive.

From you women warriors, my family and friends, I’ve learned we each choose what works for us, what we’re attracted to, and what we cannot or will not tolerate. For me, it’s nonchalance that I absolutely refuse to endure. It’s connection and intimacy that invite me stay beyond reason.

I’ve learned one can see an upsetting truth about one’s mate and set it aside for the sake of the relationship. That doesn’t mean you’re stupid (or smart), just your eyes are open.

I’ve learned you have to want to stay. You have to want to make it work. Yet, you cannot manufacture those desires any more than you can make magically appear the one with whom you’ll feel that way.

But, when you do, as long as he also wants to stay and make it work, anything can be a source of growth.

Wise women, you’ve shown me marriage is a balance between working on it and letting go, being true to yourself by speaking your mind—even when you may look like a bitch or a baby—and respecting with compassion that your mate comes from a different perspective.

Watching you gals, I’ve seen the variety of relationships and marriages and how each pair is an entity of its own personality, rules and character. Ideally, whatever the shape, it represents a synergy in which two individuals become better because of the presence of the other.

You’ve kept me believing in serendipity, and yes, even in my fifties, there’s someone wonderful for me. I shall do my best to apply lessons learned. I’m no longer a girl. I’m a woman, a warrior for love.

Woman

cowboy-283449__180

I’m not a toy

To be played with

And tossed aside.

I’m not a showpiece

To be displayed

On your arm.

I’m not a prize,

Inflated proof of your

Self-created success.

I’m not a pet or a doll or

A possession of any kind.

I walk by the sight of my soul.

There’s only one man I

Follow in this world.

He’s here and he’s not.

I don’t need your permission

To walk behind you.

I was born from your side

To be by your side.

If you can’t abide by

The beauty of nature,

Mine and yours,

Faults and vulnerabilities too,

Just remember, I got us into this.

Me, and that damn apple, but you

Damn well better believe I—

By the grace of God—

Will get us out.

Inappropriate

It wasn’t just that I chose inappropriate men. I was inappropriate. I had a list! I added up points and recorded every debit. I played coach & queen & damsel-in-distress. I dressed to impress and spoke to manipulate. My way was the way and you should listen to me. I competed for intelligence and competence. I held scales in my head and my hand on the door. I dared men to break my heart and felt damned—damned determined to never do that again. But I did, repeatedly in search of a better man who was always in search of a better woman than I was—until now.

I Divorced Drama

I refuse to be disrespected. I’m not going to shut down so you can speak up. You don’t get to feel good at my expense. You’re responsible for you—your words, attitude and drama. I’m responsible for me—my voice, feelings, and sense of self.

I no longer keep people in my life who put me down, pull me down, or try to make me feel small. I do my best to build people up and surround myself with others who dare do the same.

If you’re grieving, struggling, feeling down, or going through a hard time, I’m there. I’ll listen until 3 a.m. or be your errand gal. I’ll do the shit that’s hard for you. Truly, whatever you need.

However, if your life screams drama because you attract it, are addicted to it, you’re easily offended, create conflict out of insignificance, or you consistently project or defend, sayonara baby. I wish you well. I’ve been you. I’ve spent enough time with characters who come from where you do.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Well, I’m not your teacher or your fixer.

I’m the woman who walks down a new street.

I’m going somewhere different.

I divorced drama. Now, like the alcoholic who shouldn’t be in a bar, I cannot be around defeatists or those who want to argue, prove, one-up or one-down me.

I’ve got to surround myself with the winners of the world, the dreamers, the artists, writers, singers, dancers, life players and love makers. I spent a lifetime contorting and exposing my buttons to be pushed and crying poor me and me, too! But, no more!

I decided to stand up, to live this last half of my life (yep, going for 100!) as the gift that it is, be fully present for the people and experiences before me. I just can’t do that around the crazy makers and naysayers.

There’s a certain kind of person that can pull me in and suck me dry, make me think less of myself and wonder why I try.

Even if you don’t mean to, I’ve discovered who you are and what my reaction is to you. So, I’m out.

I’m out so I can be in. In truth. In authenticity. In courage. In joy. In forward movement. I’m out from the crowd and certain individuals who crush my spirit, even the well-meaning ones. I determine to expand like an eagle in flight, like a person sucking the marrow out of life. Can you dig it?

 

 

 

I refuse to be disrespected. I’m not going to shut down so you can speak up. You don’t get to feel good at my expense. You’re responsible for you—your words, attitude and drama. I’m responsible for me—my voice, feelings, and sense of self.

I no longer keep people in my life who put me down, pull me down, or try to make me feel small. I do my best to build people up and surround myself with others who dare do the same.

If you’re grieving, struggling, feeling down, or going through a hard time, I’m there. I’ll listen until 3 a.m. or be your errand gal. I’ll do the shit that’s hard for you. Truly, whatever you need.

However, if your life screams drama because you attract it, are addicted to it, you’re easily offended, create conflict out of insignificance, or you consistently project or defend, sayonara baby. I wish you well. I’ve been you. I’ve spent enough time with characters who come from where you do.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Well, I’m not your teacher or your fixer.

I’m the woman who walks down a new street.

I’m going somewhere different.

I divorced drama. Now, like the alcoholic who shouldn’t be in a bar, I cannot be around defeatists or those who want to argue, prove, one-up or one-down me.

I’ve got to surround myself with the winners of the world, the dreamers, the artists, writers, singers, dancers, life players and love makers. I spent a lifetime contorting and exposing my buttons to be pushed and crying poor me and me, too! But, no more!

I decided to stand up, to live this last half of my life (yep, going for 100!) as the gift that it is, be fully present for the people and experiences before me. I just can’t do that around the crazy makers and naysayers.

There’s a certain kind of person that can pull me in and suck me dry, make me think less of myself and wonder why I try.

Even if you don’t mean to, I’ve discovered who you are and what my reaction is to you. So, I’m out.

I’m out so I can be in. In truth. In authenticity. In courage. In joy. In forward movement. I’m out from the crowd and certain individuals who crush my spirit, even the well-meaning ones. I determine to expand like an eagle in flight, like a person sucking the marrow out of life. Can you dig it?

 

 

 

I Am a Woman

 

Phoenix isn’t just a dog to me. She’s my baby. Maybe I wasn’t meant to have children. Or I was too scared or whatever. But, I am a woman. I’m carried by a feminine desire to nurture, care for and love. Phoenix is a sensitive soul in a black lab body. She teaches me how to love. When men push me away, Phoenix follows me like Ruth to Naomi: “Where you go, I go.” She gives me loyalty and devotion. I am her chosen one.

That’s what I want to be for a man. I’m nobody’s back-up anything. So buddy, you better back up. I don’t want to be anybody’s back-up wife, other woman, or just for fun.

Oh, I’m fun. And funny. And articulate. I can be stunningly beautiful — physically and spiritually.

I can touch you in places you didn’t even know existed.

I am a woman. A blessing. A gift.  If you don’t want to be open to that gift, not a problem. Move along, wish you well.

I’m not starving for affection, attention, or connection. Oh, I’ve walked down those roads; don’t get me wrong. I get that there are some things a man can do best.

However, not all. See, I know how to please myself. I’m perfectly capable of loving and nurturing myself. Anyone who thinks a woman can’t be happy without a man isn’t paying attention to all the women who are. Or has a dull grasp of the power of love from dogs, sisters, girlfriends and family, not to mention male friends. If you need back up, phone a friend.

By the way boys, men, if friendship isn’t your bottom line in hanging with me—as in honesty, intimacy and connection, which will require multiple conversations in addition to the romance and rocking sex, just keep walking because even if you send your best representative, there will come a day when I will walk away. So, why don’t you just save us both some time?

Gentlemen, I’m not 20 years old and you trying your plays, your ploys and your downright lies is downright insulting.

You know that women’s intuition exists.

I don’t have to prove it to you. I can see your false fronts as clearly as you can see a 14-year-old’s fibs. You standing there denying what I know to be true is as foolish as me telling my father in high school, after I drove into a pole and made a perfect indentation, “It must’ve been a hit and run.”

Just because I don’t say anything and you don’t think I have the proof I need doesn’t mean you got away with something. More like you let something special get away due to your disregard and disrespect.

Yeah, I get hurt, but I get up. I did not get up to get in the back of the line or to be your back-up girl. I got up to create a full and fulfilling life.

If you’re looking to be anything less than real, I’m real sorry, but you simply don’t qualify.

Maybe you could be my back-up boy or my boy toy, but while we’re playing and you think you’re the player, remember: I am a woman.