Like a Sister… Kind of

Lots of people use this expression, to love another “like a sister”.

I used it one night when I was talking to Shellie about our relationship to one another, but I meant it in a slightly different sort of way than perhaps most would use it.

A few days after completing our articles for Rethinking Everything Magazine, Shellie brought about an opportunity for us to go and harvest and collect lots of beets, some herbs, and there was also a fresh water spring nearby.

On the morning this came up, I was actually feeling quite stressed. I had been feeling really disconnected from Quinn, and the Garden of Eden, and really off center within myself,  and was considering how nice it might be to just get out for a bit, go somewhere breezy and natural, with no one around.

Quinn came into our room and told me about this opportunity, and said he would go for sure, and asked if I wanted to come too. I considered it for a moment, and it seemed like it could just fit the bill of what I was already asking for. So I said I would go, and started to feel a bit excited about our little adventure. Then I asked if Shellie was coming, and upon receiving an affirmative answer, I noticed the glow of my excitement begin to fade.

I was in a really great place of accepting and supporting whatever was important to Quinn, including his relationship with Shellie. However, I was still not “in Love” with her. I still felt a lot of resistance to her being around me, often noticing myself silently criticizing her, and finding all kinds of reasons not to fully embrace her. Conversely, I had also been on  alert for any amount of true appreciation or enjoyment all the time, and often using whatever ideas I could to try to support an argument in favor of liking her. I was trying to convince myself of her value in order to appreciate her.

I wanted to like her, and even to Love her. I knew that she was providing me with immense opportunity for growth, just by her willingness to be where she was in relation to me and Quinn, and also by giving up her home to Quinn and therefore to me too. I felt sometimes like such a brat and a bitch for the thoughts I had about her, and how I was shutting her out most of the time. I was “trying” at times to find ways to like and Love her, and just letting go at other times, recognizing that trying is not the way. But in truth I was really just not satisfied with where I truly was with the matter. I was still in a state of inner disharmony, unable to be in full embrace of either Loving her or not.

So it was with some degree of annoyance that I got into my little black pick-up for the trip, squeezed in next to her. For the first time, I opted to have her sit in the middle, next to Quinn, and took the slightly more spacious passenger seat for myself. The middle seat had been quite a scrunch the last time I was sandwiched there, with my expanding belly making it ever more uncomfortable to sit in a crouched position. Anyway I wanted to be alone that day, and the window seat would suit me just fine.

We drove a little over an hour to get to the farm where we picked beets. I tried my best to make a little energetic bubble for myself, but I still noticed myself feeling encroached and bothered by Shelllie’s presence. Though I knew there were many reasons for and aspects of benefit to her presence, I still did not actually want her there with us.

We had started our journey in the evening, and finished picking beets as the sun set. We would stay at the home of the man who had grown the beets, John, where he lived with his young daughter, Aya,  for the night and make beet-based foods the next day at his house all together, and then go to the spring.

John’s house was a really cool place, built by hand, by him, from the ground up over 25 years in spurts. The house sat on many acres of land, which was mostly wild, with a stream running through, and gardens outside the house. I loved the house, the vibe, the art and books, the raw wood, the outdoor shower and especially the super-huge rustic table in the kitchen. I also loved John and Aya, quite easily and naturally, and felt great being around them.

We were joined the next day by a mutual friend of John, Quinn and Shellie named Monica, and her son Nate. I had met Monica before only once briefly, when she was just learning of the shift in Quinn and Shellie’s relationship. I felt her opening up to me on this visit, and we connected quite amiably and genuinely through conversations about birth and life throughout the day.

Though I found myself a bit quieter than usual in a social setting, I was enjoying connecting with these new friends and being in their presence, despite that I had wanted to be alone previously. Yet, I basically ignored Shellie for most of the weekend, except to notice my feelings about her and mostly my aversion to her. I was getting really tired of being annoyed  for no particular reason, just by her being around, and this was the only way I could see to deal with it at the time.

After making about 5 gallons of beet kimchi and collecting over 100 gallons of water at the spring, we parted from our friends and got back in the pick-up for the drive home. I sat in the middle this time, realizing that I could still spread out since Shellie is so small and takes up hardly any space. That was one aspect of her I was able to appreciate just then.

When we arrived back to our kitchen at the Garden of Eden, all three of us were hungry. We pulled from the freezer a delicious raw pie that Shellie had made a few days earlier. Shellie ate from her plate, and I fed Quinn and myself straight from the pie dish. Among the things I had found to appreciate about Shellie, the delicious food she would often make and set in the fridge for all to share was the most enjoyable, so far.

A short conversation began between Shellie and I about our dynamic. I remarked how our relationship is a bit like sisters- you don’t choose them, they are just there, in your life; you go through important, intense personal process with them as a natural product of sharing life and space together. And even though you may “like” them less than your friends, in a way, you Love them just as much or more. I was trying once more to tune into whatever appreciation I could for her, and to accept where I was with liking/Loving her. While my appreciation was genuine, it was a bit forced at first.

She agreed about the importance we are sharing and expressed appreciation to have me in her life, like a sister. She embraced me, and I hugged her back. While holding one another, she looked up at me with a sweet and tender look in her eyes, and I wondered what she meant by this communication.

Quinn and I bid her goodnight, and went upstairs to our bedroom. I laid down and reflected on the whole dynamic, with focus on the recent days and moments, and particularly that look she gave me.

Then, it came to me. So simply and so softly. She was asking me to Love her. She was just like me- just a little girl inside who just wanted to be loved and included. She was looking at me with big tender eyes of vulnerability, asking for my Love.

I chose in that moment that I would Love her. Not because I think she is awesome, or because she deserves it. Not because I want her to love me, and not even to further any agenda of my own personal growth. I would Love her just to Love her. Just for the sake of Love itself, with all conditions aside.

Immediately I felt the weight of annoyance and resistance lift. I felt the lightness of Love in my heart and on my being. I could stop trying to find reasons to justify liking her and ideas that would help me Love her. I could also stop finding reasons not to Love or like her, but just accept her for who and where she was, and Love her just to Love her. This felt so much better!

I recalled how, months earlier, in taking full responsibility for my Love for Quinn, I had realized that the aspect of loving someone that benefits me most is my Love for them. It feels SO good to Love. And it is so much easier when there are no conditions and reasons and justifications for that Love. And here it was again. I was able to now feel so good, rather than so annoyed, just by consciously choosing to Love.

But this was actually way more easy, not to mention True. Loving unconditionally, I reminded myself, means to Love without conditions. Duh.

The next day, I found it so easy and enjoyable to be around Shellie. I was relating to her in a whole new way, from a place of genuine unconditional Love, and we were connecting so easily and fluidly. I found myself truly embracing her presence and wanting to share with her much more.

The energetics of this internal shift also manifested in an amazingly conscious and connected conversation between me and my actual sister Jen. She and I have found it difficult to relate and to love one another in the past, and had even come to some points where we had just given up trying to relate at all. When I called that day to speak to my Mom, Jen answered the phone. Our conversation was the best we have ever had! We were both so open as she asked me all about my living situation here, and the social dynamics between me, Quinn and Shellie. We explored the consciousness behind realities that are unfolding for me, and she was genuinely receptive to many of the radical ideas which have inspired these events.

I was so amazed and delighted. She was one of the last people with whom I thought I would be sharing about my radical personal revolution. Yet there we were, talking openly about controversial topics as they applied to my life and to Love and Freedom in and of themselves. It was so clear that she cared so much and only wanted to ensure that I was truly benefiting from my experiences. It was also so clear how she was willing to explore new ideas from an open and intelligent perspective. My heart soared. This was not only the best conversation we had ever had, but also the first real conversation we had had in many months, at least.

This was an unexpected manifestation of the shift in my energetics that had taken place the night before. Yet a very welcome one.

After getting off the phone with her, I excitedly went to share with Quinn how awesome my conversation was. Shellie was standing there too on the patio, and I took the opportunity to share with her too, how this had come about. She listened and said she had noticed how much easier it had been for her too on that day to Love me. We embraced in appreciation of the moment and the Love that we were able to share.

I chose to Love, for the sake of Love. Simple, easy, and yet had been so elusive to me for what seemed like such a long time. Like the magic eye posters, those 3-d images that pop out of an image that seems like a meaningless pattern. Once you get to just a certain perspective, the image becomes clear.

Unfolding Continues

Last week I wrote an article for Rethinking Everything Magazine, my first public piece of writing ever, and my most revealing.

In that 30 page article, I wrote about falling in Love with a man who lives and breathes consciousness and freedom, and how the events that unfolded from that Love have begun a transformation of my entire self and my entire life.

I loved writing it.

I love words, I love sharing, I love combining the two.

And as I was coming to the Now point of the story, I realized I had no real way to conclude. There is no conclusion- Life and this story continue to unfold. Consciousness continues to be explored and to expand.

I woke up this morning, reflecting on some (painful) realizations I had last night, and felt inspired to write and share some more, to continue the story as it unfolds

And so begins this blog.

The full story- mine, his and hers, are available at:

http://www.rethinkingeverythingmagazine.net/

Starting July 1, 2011

“Love Ever True”

The Story of How Quinn, Shellie and I Came to Live In Love Together