Today’s #TBT photo was taken at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC on March 31, 2014. On this date, I just finished writing my Social Media Marketing final exam (completed online because I was enrolled in a distance education class in the Public Relations Program at BCIT). As I look at this flower, I realize I AM her!
Flowering Alone by Cristina Gecolea
She is fantastic, vibrant and beautiful. She holds herself up, proudly, to greet the sun. Daily, she basks in its warmth. While most of the flowers in the field are situated in pairs or clusters, this flower is alone AND thriving!
All who gaze upon her are delighted by the joy and beauty she brings into the world. Her radiance bursts forth from her core! She lifts your spirit higher because she is the epitome of fortitude. She has weathered past storms, enduring it all, steadfastly, alone.
Around her shoulders is a cape weaved from hours of silent contemplation. You see, she is fulfilled by her own company and her beauty derives from the glory of her inner light. Solitude has only added more depth to her, enhancing her loveliness. She perfumes the entire field with her magnificence. She is not lonely; She is complete!
A few of you readers and loyal followers (thank you) know that I’ve recently split up from my partner of 4+ years. Whereas I’ve received many invitations from interested others to start dating again, I respectfully decline because I value my “blossoming” which can only be done alone. Instead, I go on dates with myself, walking alone, oftentimes in nature. I didn’t realize I naturally started a walking meditation practice until I began reading Thich Nhat Hanh‘s book Anger.
Through zazen, I observe my thoughts and feelings. I engage in deep breathing and focus on awareness. I have been disappointed, sad, angry, and now indifferent to my Ex, all in the span of 2 months.
I am aware of the mistakes of my past such as having very high expectations about our relationship from “just a guy” as he terms himself. Whereas it’s not bad to have such standards, the mistake I made is to want a commitment from someone not wanting the same thing. Also, it’s impossible to seek love from someone who is incapable of being alone. This “aloneness” is distinct from independence. Aloneness is the ability to enjoy your own company, regardless of what you’re doing.
It is my job to provide myself with the love I’m looking for. This is done thru self-love. Since beginning the practice of sitting meditation and just “being,” I’ve come to realize that only when you are flowering in your own presence can you water the seeds of deep love in yourself. This means knowing how to tend to your own garden before being able to care for the garden of another. I know there is much work to do in my own garden and now is the opportunity to do that! My epiphany is solidified as this quote came to me today:
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.