One of my earliest memories is walking behind my glamorous mother, in heels and carrying the most impossibly wonderful pink suitcase, marching in and out of different women’s homes. I don't know if she ever sold a stick of make up, but boy do I remember the women's lights turning on high as my mother opened them up.
You see, my mama is a lights turner onner. In her presence, whether you want to or not, you'll begin to feel warmer, lighter, and more hopeful. If you stay near her long enough, she’ll make you laugh or invite you to get something wonderful to eat. If you stay a little beyond that, it’s likely she’ll ask you a question that will change your life.
That's how I trained to "do" relationships, or as the Dalai Lama so perfectly says, "to greet people at the level of their humanity" by following a mama, step by high heeled step, doing her durndest to feed her kids and finding, in addition to that, a way to bring light into the trailer of every single one of those women. I was beginning to apprentice myself to her eldership and pick up cues for how to greet someone at the level of their humanity.
I'm not sure what other kids learned about stranger danger, but mama never got that memo. Everyone is full to the brim with light whether they know it or not. Also everyone is a possible playmate. And everyone loves a warm muffin. I literally cannot count the number times I got looped into adventures as a child involving someone we’d just met and had become best friends with over the course of the three minutes to pump gas and talk Jesus. Hallelujah!
whatever life is bringing me, in whatever form, it is valuable and should be deeply and authentically engaged to my fullest potential. I’ve been with friends who will reject someone whole cloth based on their appearance, or smell, in the case of one game changing experience involving a fella who was home-free and used the river for bathing and gave me more direct and usable insight into my way of being than anyone before or since.
Or that time on a bus without air conditioning, crawling through an Alabama night in the dead of summer how I sang Amazing Grace over and over and over again in a thousand different harmonies with sex workers while they repaired their work gear, knit mittens for their far away grandbabies. and held me while I cried because I felt so fucking lonely and far from my sexuality then.
If I have a narrow idea about what that should look like, I miss the fun of being able to say yes to how life is actually unfolding and I stop apprenticing myself to my actual life and get lost in some worn out story that isn’t big enough for love and never has been.
So, we just gotta "apprentice ourselves to our real life," poet David Whyte says, (At least, I think that’s what he’s saying. He has a pretty amazing Irish accent and I miss a few words here and there - mostly due to my swooning over the dead sexiness of his voice.)
For me this looks like retiring a coaching business because it's no longer taking me deeper. It also looks like retiring the illusion that there is ever a reason to be or do something that isn't true for me. I'm sporting a new mantra to prop up that one:
“I am perfect for who is perfect for me” I say that and steer a little closer lose to saying what I actually like and don’t like rather than trying to mentally angle what will win me approval points. Early on, I experimented with trying to carve a version of myself that got the most thumbs up but it is wildly lonely to try to be in a relationship with thumbs up. I think it is the nature of friendship to gently coax our true bits out of us.
Compassion works if you work it. Sometimes when my young friend is messy and chaotic I remember that her mama left her in a violent way when she was young and now life is teaching her the things her mama maybe forgot to say.
It’s WAY MORE FUN to play with the world than to judge it from behind your lonely curtain like the wizard in Wizard of OZ. Dorothy was the one having all the good times, skipping hands and singing with her boy band and super rad shoes.
You HAVE NO IDEA YOU CAN NEVER HAVE AN IDEA STOP TRYING TO HAVE AN IDEA that you know what’s going on with someone else. Despair might be the next right step for them. Running away might be giving them space to find a new level of bravery. All you can do is find a way to greet them at the level of their humanity if they’re showing up for you. If they’re coming into your now, there’s a gift.
It’s your work to be available for it.
No one can take “advantage of me.” I am a conscious creator and draw in what I vibrate at. Really letting this in can go a long way towards obliterating trust issues. I get to play way more full tiltedly and unguardedly with the world. Because I can always adjust what I’m emitting and change what's coming in response, or like Abraham Hicks says, "just change the channel!" I used to draw in untrustworthy guys until I realized I was the common denominator there and stopped lying about my real desires, and boom, happy trustworthy playmates GALORE!
Everyone really, deep down, just wants to be happy. I have never found an exception to this. So, I assume that they want me to engage them there. A lot of times this goes over beautifully and I get a deep and nourishing glimpse into someone's soul. Sometimes someone tells me to stop napping on them.
You are the most famous homefro you ever gonna know and tThe Continuum of Famousininity is HOGWASH. No one is better. Than any other. Preious little wondrous person. And there isn’t any valid reason why you should pretend to be something other than what you are. If you faint when you see a celebrity, you are not greeting them at the level of their humanity. If you avoid giving eye contact to a homeless person you are not greeting them at the level of their humanity.
We rate ourselves on this continuum, and then structure our interactions accordingly rather than just responding from our heart. Our mind schemes: is this person rich? Bigshotty? Famous? Beautiful? All these considerations completely block out any genuine interaction that is trying to come through. You’re trying to apprentice yourself to your real life, not to the hyped up story your mind is trying to sell you, that you’re better than, less than. That’s all just impossibly silly when you really consider it, yet it keeps people from greeting each other at the level of their humanity almost all the time.
There are no big deal trees. Nor humans. We’re all here to dare to ride the wave. I see people exactly as interesting and accessible as the trees in the forest beyond my home. And I value their opinion in a similar fashion. If the trees are mad at me, I know I am a little off center. If a bunch of people are fussing at me, I know I am perhaps not as relaxed and happy as I might wish I was.
When it occurs to me to say something to someone, or to nap against a tree, I just do. Sometimes I nap on humans too. Their butts make excellent pillows.
Thank you for the clues to my own humanity, Mama Light
Love from the Deep,