i love

 © metin demiralay

 © metin demiralay

I love my womanhood. I love the way my soft form is connected to the moon, the way another soul can take shape inside my being, the way that I am permeable to the raw beauty and pain of the world. I love my shadow. I love how people look innocent when they eat. I love that I long for something un-nameable when my heart feels empty, and that sometimes I can fill the hole of my yearning with my own light.

I love the color of morning. I love that I have touched the depths of shame and forgotten myself in a song. I love that I am terrified of being seen in my core, even though exposing that tender place feels like the most healing thing. I love that I don't really have a core—just a lot of space inside. I love the way rhythm moves my animal body. I love that I get so hardened over with shells of protection that I push people away, because in that pushing there is pain and when that pain is witnessed, I wake up.

I love that I worry about what people think, but I don't worry so much that I stop sharing. I love that I want intimacy more than anything, yet it scares the shit out of me. I love that I loved a man once and he didn't want me. His closure was a clear mirror that threw me back on myself. I craved and cried and my heart stretched wide. I love that I love him even more for rejecting me because, through that, I learned how to stop rejecting myself.

I love that clouds are like poems that speak to us in shapes. I love that I make mistakes because I’m human and I can't get it all right because there is no 'right'. I love how my neuroses inspire me to sing and my fears force me out of the fetal position and into the wild woods where I can weep. I love my secrets, though I'm not sure what they are.

I love jealousy because it shows me my true desires. I love that I think conformity sucks, but sometimes I still feel pressure to be like everyone else. I love that there are brave souls who just live their truth and pay no mind to the rolling eyes of others. You inspire me, people. I love that I have no idea if I will ever fall in love again, learn to play guitar, or drop my ego games. I love that I’m just a random woman whose life is a story that she doesn't always know how to read. I love the esraj and the sound of my own voice.

I love how much I want to forgive the people who have hurt me even though sometimes my heart still shivers with sadness when I remember the pain. I love when I wake up alone in the middle of the night and it’s thundering and raining and I realize that I am going to die one day and so will everyone I love and who knows when that day will come; it keeps me humble. I love that maybe one day a sweet man will be in my bed again and I'll wake him up and tell him I'm freaking out and he'll just be there and I'll cry like a child and fall back asleep in his arms. I love that I don't need a man in my bed because I’m brave enough to look into the void; it makes me tremble sometimes, but in that trembling I'm so alive.

I love that I have a guru who is an embodiment of unconditional love, which is something I honestly can't explain because my mind doesn't even know how to conceive of it. I love how people think having a guru means you're in a cult or something when, really, a true guru just points you back to the wisdom of your own heart. I love rooibos tea and rose oil, but not mixed together. I love that it's possible to plant a tiny seed in the dirt and then watch it reemerge as a pumpkin, full of sun and stars.

I love the smell of ocean. I love that the earth's core is so hot it's practically unfathomable and that weird things happen that we don't understand like crop circles and pyramids and unidentified flying objects and, no, I'm not a conspiracy theorist or obsessed with aliens. I'm sure there are other life forms out there, but I'm not really interested in meeting them right now.

I love when people do sweet things for each other like hold the door, listen deeply, or say I'm sorry. I love when a lover plays with my hair. I love that I cry easily because it means I'm not as shut down as I often think. I love going to this open field near my house and walking around in the late afternoon sun when a golden hue lights everything up because then I become golden too.

I love that we're all doing the best we can. I love that I am writing this piece about the things I love even though, ultimately, this little "I" is nothing but a dream woman who thinks she is solid and separate. I love that I'm a real woman, too. I love paradox—it's everywhere. I love that I don't know shit. I love that I don't want anyone to know that I don't know shit even though it's totally obvious.

I love that I got a spiritual name from my guru this summer and have been trying to write a blog about it for the last month to no avail. I love that I was given the name Dayashila, which means one whose nature is compassion. I love how pretty the name looks when it’s written with Sanskrit diacritics: Dayāśīla. I love how different the name is from anything I’ve ever heard and how I have no idea if I will grow into it or not. I love that the name is about one whose nature is compassion because that means I don’t have to become someone else or try to turn myself into a goddess named Shakti Mama or become pure or perfect like the sun. I love that I can just rest in what I am and stop berating myself for being such a sensitive soul who feels the pain of others. I love that I can just let that pain open me more. I love that Carrie is kind of like Dayashila because sometimes a compassionate soul can’t help but carry people’s pain. I love that the name Carrie has different meanings like “darling”, “melody”, and “song of joy”. I also love that it means “manly” because I’m about as manly as a mermaid. I love that I’m not a mermaid because having feet is nice.

I love how much I have to learn about compassion because sometimes people’s suffering destroys me and that doesn’t help anyone. I love how the Buddhist teachings say that compassion and wisdom must go together because only one who is truly wise can respond to suffering in a skillful way. I love how I want to be wise.

I love when snowflakes land on my eyelashes and disappear. I love when someone is trying not to cry and then lets go of her resistance so the tears can flow. I love when I catch myself judging people because I don’t mean to; it’s just that sometimes I get scared and want to make things safe.

I love that there are things I don’t love like poverty, drought, injustice, comparison, poaching, and humans who are intentionally mean; those challenges draw my mind inside. I love books. I love how long it takes to start a fire in my woodstove. I love how habitually I want to hide, and how life keeps putting me in front of people. I love my ovaries. I love that geniuses keep inventing new technologies to help save the planet. I love that I’ve had the same orchid for three years and it continues to bloom. I love that I’m like my orchid.

I love when I feel understood. I love my intuition, especially when I listen to it. I love that sometimes when I want to open I get all twisted up in knots, and sometimes when I want to close, I can’t shut down my heart. I love the word auspicious.

I love my sister’s sense of humor. I love that she lived in a hut in the bush for three years with no running water and now she lives in Brooklyn. I love how things never turn out the way I expect. I love prasad. I love that my grandmother went back to college when she was 85. I love the way my friend Ingrid takes amazing photographs of telephone poles and twigs. I love that Rumi said there are “a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” It’s so true, isn’t it?

I love that prayer flags get frayed in the wind—what a good way to go, bestowing blessings on all beings. I love Pablo Neruda, Carlos Nakai, and Nada Yoga. I love disappointment; it reminds me to surrender. I love that some people who read this will think it’s self-indulgent and some will think it’s sweet. I love how that’s just the way the world is and it really doesn’t matter.

What do you love, sweet blog reader?

Carrie Grossman