I have been married almost 9 years. My husband and I are very different people. He is the pragmatic, analytical, and sensible one. I am the wild, carefree, and untamed one. Most days we balance we each other out. And on the days we don’t it’s every man (and woman) for themselves. I have learned a lot about my husband in the time that I have known him. I know what makes him tick and I know what sets him off. Most of the time I see it happening before even he does. That’s how familiar I am with this soul I decided to do life with. But as the years have passed I have become enlightened to the fact that just knowing how he takes his coffee or that he prefers light starch to heavy when getting his clothes dry cleaned does not mean that I love him or even know him. It means I am simply observant. Which any one can do. Hell, the servers at our favorite Mom and Pop restaurant know that he loves cinnamon with his oatmeal. So how do we really love our men beyond daily mundane tasks and familiarities? How do we connect with these men that, on a core level our so vastly different than we are?
Let him be a man. Men are masculine in nature. They are virile, rugged, robust and at times can be rough around the edges. Let them be men. Let them grunt, sweat, fart, burp and then when you’ve done that turn around and do it again. Love their masculinity. Love their brawny, testosterone filled, and red-blooded ways. Don’t nag him. If he pulls out a new roll of toilet paper and doesn’t put it on the actual holder you have one of 2 options. You can shut your mouth and just put the damn roll on the holder realizing that his hard work made it possible for you have that ass wipe OR you could hold the lonely TP holder in between your tits and ever so politely ask him if next time he could remember to refill it. Don’t whine at him. He had a mommy. You are his partner. In the words of Miranda Hobbs, “No one wants to fuck mean mommy.”
Accept him. I realize that this is a hard one. Especially when you know that sometimes the change would make him a happier, more fulfilled version of himself. Trust me. I know how hard it is. But we must accept our men. Their journey is singular and completely separate from ours. There will always be one person in the relationship who is meant to hold space for the other. And more often then not at some point throughout your lives together he will be holding space for you. Our men are our teachers and vice versa. Love them. Be gentle with them. Because simply put, they are your mirror. In being gentle with him you are being gentle with yourself. It’s a win win. When you accept this man for who and what he is he will blossom.
Let them be fathers. The worst thing our society has done is make our men think that they are incapable of caring for their children. We see commercials, ads and ridiculous videos all the time about it. Let them give your preservative free kid double stuffed Oreos. Fuck. Eat them with them. It shows your husband that you trust him and even more it shows your children that there is balance to everything in life. Let your men be silly with your kids. Let your man be the soft place for your children to fall when you have had enough of them and they most certainly have had enough with you. Demand your children respect him. Even if you hate him. Demand it. Undoubtedly you will hate this man at some point in your partnership regardless of whether you decided to procreate. But if you did create life with this man count on it. It will pass I promise. No matter what he deserves to be respected.
Fuck him. Men need us in a raw and carnal way. No ifs, ands or butts. Maybe butt. But I digress. You want to inspire your man? Fuck him. Don’t blush or laugh. And if you are offended by my vulgarity maybe you need to fuck your husband. NOW. Go do it. This goes hand in hand with accepting him. If you want him to help out more around the house than you need to screw him as if he is Mr. Clean himself. I am being silly to get your attention. Now that I have it. Listen up. Make love to your husband as if he is the highest, most fulfilled version of himself. He will become it. Give yourself to this man. Heart. Mind. Body. Soul. Be vulnerable. Allow him to see every part of you. Let him know that you trust him with the inner most parts of your soul. This will inspire him and give him the courage to face what lies outside the walls of the home you built. Together. And one more thing. When your guy is an asshole do not withhold sex from him. I understand that for some women that after being hurt the thought of being physical is completely out of the question. That is how I am. I have to cool down and talk about the offense before I can feel ok. I just always check my intention. Is my intention to hurt him in return or is my intention to connect by communication first? And just so he is clear I usually say something like this, “When you remove your head from your asshole I would like to speak with you about your dick head move. And no, I do not want you to mount me. But please know that my lack of carnal desire has nothing to do with my love for you or the fact that you completely turn me on. I am hurting. Your actions hurt me and I want to talk about it.” Sometimes I scream it and sometimes I say it like I am the fucking Dalai Lama.
Dream with him. Whatever his dream may be, envision yourself there right a long with him. Get excited with him. Research with him. No matter how silly you think it is. Even if he thinks the end of the world is on upon us and reminds you of Christopher Walken in “Blast from the Past” you buy the best tuna on the market and make sure to make Anthropologie jealous with the candles you make. Go all out. And if everyone tells him that his dreams are unrealistic you be the voice in his heart reminding him that if he wants it he can have it. And if you get the opportunity to watch your man’s dreams unfold stand by him. Be his biggest fan. The work will be hard and toilsome, but you will get the rare honor of watching your man in his element.
Give him space. Be together and be separate. Give him the space to pursue what makes his heart sing. It does not mean he loves you less it simply means he loves himself more. And that is OK. If he loves himself first then and only then can he love you in the way you deserve. We live in a society where men work without much thought of vacation or time off. They are expected to produce and provide. Encourage him to take time to himself. If he can’t make it happen for himself make it happen for him. Men need alone time too.
The past is just that. What is the use in bringing up past hurts and failings? It robs you of the present. I know that sounds so cliche, but it is the truth. You want to feel completely disconnected from this man? Bring shit up that happened in the past. This next thing I am still fervently working on. If you are angry with something that your lover has done sleep on it. If you are still upset in the morning talk with him about. Otherwise drop that shit!
I realize in typing this short list up I appear to have just stepped out of the 1950’s. Rest assured that I live and love in 2016 and am so very thankful for the powerful women who have gone before me and fought so hard for our rights as women. It is because of their fight that I am able and have the courage to write my thoughts for public viewing and use words like “fuck and bullshit”. I think somewhere between June Cleaver and the modern day woman we have forgotten our nature. We are women. We are powerful. Let us not fight our feminine nature. Let us love our men. We will not lose our power in their masculinity. In fact, in fiercely loving these sweaty, virile, rugged and sometimes rough around the edges men we will find just how powerful we are.
How many women have gotten ready for the day, looked in the mirror, and then swiftly thought, “Ugh. My hair is too straight.” “My thighs are too big.” “My boobs are too small.” “My tummy is too squishy.” “I have no ass.” “I was the inspiration for ‘Baby Got Back’.” “My legs are too skinny.” I am quite sure most women have gone to battle with the mirror a time or 2 and barely made it out unscathed. And how many times have we left our homes feeling like something that just crawled out of a slimy swamp only to arrive at our planned destination and have a friend compliment us and we go from feeling like the Loch Ness Monster to being confident that Vogue will be phoning any minute to let us know that our latest Instagram selfie will be featured on the cover. I know I have been guilty of this. But why do this? Why do we look to others for affirmation?
Body shaming as become an epidemic in our society. For ALL shapes and sizes. If a woman is petite in nature she is too skinny and looks like a boy. If a woman has curves she is fat and must not take care of herself. If she is dedicated to fitness she is obsessed and doesn’t know how to enjoy real food. Or worse. She is not feminine. It’s exhausting and yet we don’t stop thumbing through magazines and our Pinterest boards are full of the latest workouts and fashion trends. There is nothing wrong with any of those things. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love fashion. I love running. And of course I love a good glass of Cabernet and the latest issue of Vogue. I just think we need to do some soul work and ask ourselves why we are doing these things. Does it make our heart sing or are we tirelessly trying to meet society’s standards for beauty?
We talk about our pant sizes like we are quoting Scripture. I know I have done it. When I speak with other women about my weight loss journey and they ask how much weight I have lost I say, “Well I went from a size 16 to a size 10.” I am done with that fucking bullshit. From now on when asked about my journey in shedding those extra pounds I say, “I went from a size sexy to a size sexy.” We as women must do away with the utter rubbish of shaming our incredibly delicious, feminine, make men’s hair stand up on their necks bodies and instead we must start loving every inch of our magnificent bodies. I mean really loving ourselves. Why? Because we are so worthy. We are so strong. We are so sexy. Why? Because we are women. And we are Divine. Our bodies and our weight do not make us sexy. The heart that lies within these miraculous bodies is what make us sexy and desirable. Let us rid ourselves from the utter bullshit and negativity of body shaming and instead let us #bodysurrender. Let us stop fighting the need for perfection and surrender to our beauty. Let us surrender to our curves. Let us surrender to our petite physique. Let us surrender to our muscular strength. Let us surrender to our light. Let us surrender to our shadow. Let us surrender to caring for our bodies and let us treat them like the glorious temples they are. Let us be ever mindful of what we fill them with. Let us surrender to supporting each other as women and as individuals. And finally, let us surrender to the unparalleled honor of being a perfectly imperfect woman. Our daughters need this kind of woman. Our sons need this kind of woman. Our partners need this kind of woman. Our mothers need this kind of woman. Our fellow sisters need this kind of woman. Our soul’s need this kind of woman. It is this woman that will call forth the love that resides in each one of our souls. It is this love that will heal the skewed and unrealistic expectations and thoughts that we have about ourselves. And when we tap into that fierce self love we will change the world. And most importantly that love will change the woman. Much love goddesses.
This afternoon I had to make a Target run for toilet paper and other essentials. As I was leaving I hit up the Starbucks to grab a much needed caffeine fix. In front of me was a beautiful mother with 2 children. One looked to be around 7 and the other was a baby. Before I continue I must note this woman’s stoic bravery for stepping into this establishment with children. With baby on hip she reached down under her cart to retrieve her purse. I swear this was some crazy acrobatic move that you would only see at the circus. I was impressed. I ordered my coffee and moved out of line to wait for my elixir. While we waited she received a phone call from someone who I can only assume was her husband. As she attempted to have an adult conversation with the individual on the other end her children started to acting up. I overheard her quickly say, “Nevermind, bye.” She received her drink and I could hear her baby wailing off in the distance as they continued on with their day. The woman who was behind me in line looked at me and nervously laughed, “That was awkward wasn’t it?” I smiled and said, “Oh not at all. I am a mom and I totally get it.” I bid the woman farewell and as I left this mother stayed in my memory and on my heart all afternoon. I decided to write her (and all mother warriors) a letter….
To the woman with the screaming child at Target,
You have been on my heart. I too am a mother and the last time I took my daughter into Target with me she smacked a stranger’s ass. So I want you to know that I was encouraged by your presence this afternoon. I now know that I am not the only mom who walks into that store full of hope and leave feeling completely defeated. Sometimes as a mom I feel like people don’t really see me. They see my unruly child and swiftly make judgments about my parenting choices. Of course that is only my perception. So I want you to know that I see you. I see you dressed in your yoga pants and no make up and I want you to know that you are beautiful. I see you pick up your Venti Egg Nog frappuccino and I know from experience that you ordered that size because you have children that will undoubtedly ask for some and you will probably only enjoy 5 sips of it. I hear you on the phone with your husband and as quick as you answer you have to hang up. You are such a great wife for taking the call because you know your children are not the only humans that need you. I see you lovingly interact with your busy little girl while you quietly soothe your crying baby. You have the patience of Job. I watch as you hurry off all the while attempting not to make eye contact with another human as you pass by. I want you to know that I have been where you are. I have made that walk of shame too many times to count. You need to know that I do not judge you. I am in awe of you. You taught me a valuable lesson today. You reminded me that we are all doing the best we can and we all need a kind face smiling back at us. Just maybe we will look into that strangers eyes and see our beautiful reflection mirrored back to us. You reminded me that as moms we are our worst critic. We need to stop that. We are raising our children to be functioning humans in this world and that is no easy task. As I watched you with your babies I witnessed the pure grace and messiness that is motherhood. You also reminded me that there should never be any shame in being a mom and God forbid shame when our children (and they will) act like an untamed beast in public. Their breakdowns have nothing to do with how well we are parenting. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that their fits are proof of our unconditional love for them. They know that no matter how poorly they act we will get frustrated, but their is no tantrum that will change the love we have for them. I also am frightened of children who never throw fits in public from time to time. I end this letter thanking you. Thank you for reminding me of my humanness and that my struggles as a mom have no bearing on my capabilities. You are amazing and your children are so blessed that you are their mama. You are strong and brave. You are nurturing and patient. I saw myself in you today and what I saw was an extraordinary soul. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our silent interaction today was anything but awkward. It was enlightening and empowering. Just thought you needed to know that.
a fellow mom who has been known to hide in the dressing room at Target
To her, water was life. It was how she learned to breath. While others found themselves drowning in the powerful riptide she found her strength. She became fluid. She had found her direction in the seemingly still current. With each deafening crash of waves she had learned to listen. For some the ocean was a place to drown out the repetitious and unruly thoughts of self doubt, but for her? For her the ocean was a place she went to awaken the thoughts of love and self assurance. The ocean was her home. As a girl she would stand in the shallow waters, plant her feet firmly in the sand and as the tide rolled in she curled her toes into the sand even further and allowed the waves to crash right into her legs.
It was in this moment that this little one had learned the art and power of standing still and finding balance. In a world that was so uncertain and daunting she always knew that if she could find her way back to the ocean she would be ok. She would survive. She would become buoyant. And her worries would wash away and vanish. But what if she couldn’t find her way to the body of water that had rescued her so many times before? What would she do? Who would she become? Time had passed and she had grown older. She had seen heartache, death, new life, more death and more heartache. And even in the midst of those tumultuous days she saw love. She saw happiness. She saw bliss and she saw joy. She fondly remembered her time as a girl skipping and frolicking along the shore line. She returned once more in search of those feelings of balanced fluidity. And what she found shook her to the core. She had never left. For she was the thunderous, deafening, expansive, powerful force. She was the ocean. She was water. She was always the one who gave her Soul, her Higher Self direction. And with that recognition she was humbled. There was only one left to do. Float in the deep waters of gratitude. And so she did.