It is tempting to wall yourself off when you are hurt. Many people are advocates of that “walling off” as well. People have taken to warning me every day about how careful I need to be. They are hoping that this recent experience will teach me that I need to protect myself and be more careful when it comes to love. But it has not. It has taught me about my own fear. Nothing more. Nothing less. My own fear is what got me into this mess. It had nothing whatsoever to do with love. My own resistance to loving myself got me into this mess. It had nothing whatsoever to do with love.
We like to tell the lie that when we love someone else, we are doing it for them. We aren’t. Love is selfish. It is the most selfish act in the world. And that is proof alone that allowing yourself to be selfish, benefits the world. It is easy to see that love benefits the world. Love is the opposite of fear. Fear creates the wars you watch on your television set every morning. Those scenes could not exist in the presence of love. They are manifestations of the absence of love. Yes, love is selfish. It is selfish because it is the most beneficial thing in the world to you. Because of this, it should not wait. Do not wait for someone to give you love, for you to love them. Be selfish and love people without reservation. Love makes you whole. Love fulfills you. Love will strike fear from the record of your soul. What a gift to allow yourself to become whole, fulfilled and fearless. Love never says, “I need love back to love”. Fear says that (specifically the fear that something is wrong with you and that you aren’t worthy of love because of it). Love never hurt or deceived anyone. Only fear can do that and for most of us, our love is cradled in so many layers of fear that we can no longer differentiate between our fear and our love. We say love is painful. We don’t understand that it is not the love that is painful. Love cannot be painful. It is fear that is painful. It is the prevention of love caused by fear that is painful. If I want to live a happy life, heal myself and make self-loving, smart decisions in the future, I need not armor myself against the world. I need not protect my love. Instead, I need to remove my armor and remove the layers of fear that by virtue of their constriction, are choking the freedom and life out of my love. Today I discovered that I have never fully loved. How do I know this? Because I have never been completely fearless.
Speaking of love, I went to my company mailbox yesterday. My box was full of presents and letters sent by “fans”. I feel so weird calling people who follow my material fans. It feels more like they are members of my army or like they are extended family members scattered all over the world. Anyway, I spent half of an hour reading the letters and playing with the presents that came. I wish I had the time to write everyone who sends me things one by one. I can only hope that they (you) know that when I continue to create the things which I hope will add to the richness of their lives, gratitude for their support and love is contained within each creation. I love presents. Gifts is my love language. I live in a terrible country to have that love language. The influence of Christianity has made it so that gifts are seen as materialistic and therefore shameful. Not many people in America speak that love language, and many are even repulsed by it. In fact, I’ve never been in a relationship with a man who speaks my love language. Gifts are the visual symbol of love. They are reminders of the fact that people love you. I admittedly have a hard time believing and remembering that I am loved. So when I read through my binder that is full of the letters I have received, or look around the room and see all the little things people have sent me, I feel loved. Presents say to me “Hey Teal… This person cares enough about you to learn what you like, go looking for what you like and then send it to you, so you could feel happier; because they love you”. Presents prove that you are on the forefront of someone’s mind. They are magical. They are heavenly. And I have decided that there is very little that can compare to a package waiting for you in the mailbox.
Last night was Halloween. I dressed my son up as a pumpkin and sent him out trick or treating with Mark (his dad), Blake (who you all know), Melanie (the next door neighbor who is a super close friend of mine now) and Brylee (Melanie’s daughter, who is Winter’s best friend in the world). Brylee was dressed as Rapunzel. They were so adorable together with their little Halloween baskets. I wish I could include a picture of them here. I’ve had so many death threats in the last month that include plans to abduct my son, that we collectively decided as a family to keep him out of the public eye. It’s a hard not be so rigid that you give children the desire to rebel when you are committed to the way you want to raise them. I have trouble with this when it comes to my son’s diet. I’m a heath freak. Sugar is a neurotoxin. I have a difficult time watching people poison themselves with it. In America, every holiday is an excuse for the candy companies to make money. In fact, entire holiday traditions have been created specifically for the candy companies to make money. Halloween is one such holiday that is all about the candy. We have made a deal with him that if he gathers all the candy he gets trick or treating and trades it into us, he gets to go with us to the giant toy store in the city nearby and pick out anything in the entire store, no matter how small or how large. This is what we will be doing today. He was so excited about it this morning that he was jumping up and down. He even scrounged around in my drawers for whatever pants and shirts he could find to give me so I couldn’t tell him that I needed to get dressed.
When people give my son sugar before I can avoid it, I deliberately try not to make a big deal of it at all. I can’t prevent him from experiencing life. But I do know that children emulate. So we make a big deal out of dinner and never offer dessert as a reward for finishing dinner. I also know that that the foods we are exposed to as children; build the foundation for our palette. This is a byproduct of basic species survival. The body sets itself up to crave whatever food it has already been exposed to. It does this to ensure that you will be driven towards eating whatever food exists in the area. This means, feed your children junk food when they are young and they will crave junk food. Feed your children healthy food, and they will crave healthy food. This has proven to be true with my son. I made all of his baby food from scratch when he was young. He’s been eating mostly vegetables since he was old enough to eat and now, he prefers healthy foods. His 2 favorite things to eat are dried seaweed and roasted almonds.
I had a “mommy just scored” moment the other night. You’ve got to take those moments and catalog them when you’re a mother because they seem to happen so rarely. We went to an Indian restaurant because Indian curry is one of my son’s favorite things to eat. Now, my son (who is four years old now) has this talent for manifesting free hand outs everywhere we go. He was born on the day of the intimate relationship and as such, has the tendency to charm the pants off of every woman he interacts with. So, that night he managed to charm the hostess to such a degree that she brought out a dish of mango pudding on the house. She put it in front of him. My heart sank. I rolled my eyes at the rest of the people at the table as if to say, “you ‘ve got to be kidding me… again?” and then I went on to explain to him why she had given him the pudding. He stood up on the booth and yelled “thank you India lady”. I watched him shovel two spoonfuls of it into his mouth. I figured all was done for. I was watching my son eat poison. I was going to have to deal with his mood swings for the rest of the night. But to my amazement, he stopped eating the pudding, offered it to other people at the table and asked to take his curry home for the morning, with strict instructions that I not eat it when I wake up because he wants it. I could have died and gone to heaven. We will see how this all develops over the course of his life, but so far, we haven’t given him a reason to rebel against us and eat junk food and so he doesn’t ask for it and he gravitates towards the same foods we eat in the house, which are super healthy. It would be so cool if this were how it stayed.
We carved pumpkins yesterday and roasted the fresh pumpkin seeds we scooped out of them. Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite seasonal traditions. They make me feel cozy. I sat on the couch listening to children come to the door on their trick or treating expeditions, while I drank warmed oat milk. I am so happy that it is November. In just over two weeks, the ski resorts open and my winter begins. I know that the snow-covered mountains will rehabilitate my soul. They will open me up again to life and to love. Look… I’ve even taken to dressing like a skier again!