The Human Heart (A Love Story)

It-is-only-with-theYesterday morning I sat down after my kids had gone to school, and forced myself to have some tea and a piece of toast. I was trying to center myself a little, so I could teach my morning class. The house was quiet, and so was the street outside, and as I sat at my dining room table, I wondered what Elias A. Zias, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon I’ve never met, might have had for breakfast. Or whether he’d had any. Or if he was having a good day, or if he’d been up all night worrying about his teenage daughter. If he even has a teenage daughter. I wondered all kinds of things about this man I don’t know. I wondered if he might have sat at his dining room table, looking at his list of things to do for the day, counting amongst them holding two human hearts in his hands. Especially because one of them would be my step-dad’s. That’s crazy, right? That your job, the thing you do every day, could be to save two lives. I think I’ll mow the lawn, drop my kids off at school, break someone’s chest open, and give them twenty to thirty more years with their family and friends.

Anyway, I should back up, I guess. My stepdad was feeling some pressure in his chest and he went in for a stress test last Tuesday. I could give you all kinds of details, but yesterday, a week after his stress test, he had quadruple bypass surgery. I’ve been educating myself over the last week, so I’d know more about the procedure, the odds, the recovery, all the normal stuff you’d want to know if someone you loved was going to be on a table for six to seven hours with their heart outside their body for at least some of that time. And I spoke to a number of people who all reassured me that this is like a root canal these days. Or an appendectomy. But still. It’s the heart, right? The heart, the brain, the spine, all surgeries you can’t help but worry about.

Tuesday night, the night before the surgery, I stood on the baseball field during my son’s practice talking to my step-dad. If he was scared, he did a bang-up job of hiding it. And I didn’t want him to be scared, and I didn’t want to scare him with my own fear. But, y’know, you have to say what you have to say in a situation like that. So I tried to get everything out without crying, and then I just went ahead and cried, but I said what I needed to say. I wanted to make sure he knew how much I loved him and how grateful I was to have been watching him love my mom from the time I was seven years old. He’s taught me a lot about sticking to it. Whatever it may be. He loves my mom. We had hard times in the house like every family. But there was never a second in my entire life where he gave me any reason to question whether he loved her. Even if they were fighting. He’s taught me a lot about devotion. And about loving people at their best and their worst, which is really the thing. Loving people when they’re at their best is easy. No one is at their best all the time, and certainly not for thirty, forty, fifty years. If you want a long-term thing, you have to be willing to fight for it.

We have our ideas about how things should look or be or feel, and sometimes reality matches those pictures in our head in no way whatsoever. Love isn’t linear or pretty or glowy all the time. Love can be an act of will. I’m not talking about allowing yourself to be abused, here, so don’t get me wrong. I’m saying, if you really want to love people, you have to figure out how to see them and accept them as they are. And I think you have to do that for yourself before you can do it well for anyone else.

So I’ve been thinking about all of that. On the way home from baseball practice, my seven year old asked me if Grandpa’s operation was serious, and I said it was. I said his doctor was great, though, and that he performed these operations every day. I said I thought Grandpa would be okay. And he said, “But there’s a chance he won’t, right?” And I said yes, there’s a chance. Because you can’t lie, right? This is reality. I told him we’d call when we got home because I wanted my kids to say goodnight to him. And my son said he was going to tell him he loved him. He said, “He’s probably not going to sound scared because he won’t want me to be scared, right?” I said that was probably true. Anyway, when I picked my son up yesterday afternoon and told him Grandpa was okay, he threw his fist in the air and said, “Yes!!” And my daughter, who’s four, said she “knew it”, and hadn’t been worried.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to hold a human heart in your hands. To understand you’re holding a life, a life full of beauty and pain and joy and heartbreak and disappointments and love. A life that overlaps with so many other lives, that affects the way a seven year old and a four year old view the world, that reduces someone to tears on a baseball field in front of strangers, that touches the lives of people all over the world. And that’s just one heart. Multiply that by seven billion, and you start to understand the potential we have to love each other and heal and grow something so unbelievably beautiful between us that we’re all in awe.

I think acceptance and clear seeing are the things. Forgiveness helps a lot. Awareness that you don’t have forever and neither does anyone else. The understanding that the absolute best thing you can do with your heart and your time and your energy is to love. I don’t know what Elias A. Zias ate for breakfast yesterday. But he has my heart and my gratitude. May we all cherish each other’s gorgeous hearts. Sending you love. Ally Hamilton

Want to Have a Happy New Year?

What-the-New-Year-bringsThere are four main tools I think you need in order to be happy. You can cultivate all of them on your yoga mat. Just four, not so bad, right?

The first is a kind and compassionate internal dialogue. I really can’t emphasize what a life-changer this is, especially if you’ve been sharing your inner world with a harsh critic. Sometimes people tell me they believe they need that nasty voice in order to get things done. Without a relentless battering, they feel they’d just be sitting on the couch, letting life pass them by. But I respectfully and passionately disagree with that view. I used to have an incredibly unforgiving inner voice. If I screwed up, even in a small way, I’d berate myself for hours, days, sometimes longer. That, to me, is the definition of prison. It’s so debilitating and painful, it’s a wonder anyone can do anything that way. Full of bitter disappointment with themselves, disgust, frustration, contempt. You really want to feed and nurture a kind and compassionate inner voice. One that roots you on, not one that tears you down. None of us is perfect. We will all blow it sometimes– say or do something we wish we hadn’t, betray ourselves to avoid hurting someone else, lie to avoid confrontation, run, deny, or numb out so we don’t have to look our pain in the face. This is called being human. The idea is to learn and grow and develop tools to make the best choices you can, so you can show up the way you want to for yourself, and for everyone in your life. You’re not going to get it right every minute. Let go of perfectionism, starve a shaming inner voice, and grow a loving one.

The second tool is related to the first. Choose one thought over another. There’s so much power in this. Much of our suffering in this life comes from our own thoughts. Not all of it, and I think that’s really important to acknowledge. There are truly some things that will never fall into the category of, “thank you for this experience.” But short of those devastating losses, we can go a long way toward inner peace by choosing thoughts that strengthen us over the ones that weaken us. There’s no benefit to letting yourself spiral and agonize over something behind you that can’t be changed. And nothing fruitful is gained by obsessing over what could go wrong in the future. Training yourself to pick up your mind and bring it back to right now is like a superpower too few people are using. You don’t have to lose a day, an afternoon, an hour making yourself sick over something you can’t undo or control. In yoga, we use the breath as an anchor point. It’s always occurring in the now. You could pause, close your eyes, and become aware of your inhale and your exhale. Just like that, you’d be present. Awake. Engaged with the moment.

The third is the ability to sit with intense sensation, calmly. What are intense sensations, and what do I mean by “sitting with them”? Loneliness, rage, grief, jealousy, insecurity, shame, doubt, fear, feelings around being betrayed, abused, neglected, abandoned, rejected, or ignored. Those are all intense sensations. On your mat, you can practice breathing through intense physical sensation. Your quad may be on fire from holding Warrior II for twelve breaths, but if you train your mind and your nervous system to stay with it, you’ll find you can face those other emotional intense sensations off of your mat. I’m really talking about non-reactivity. So many people go through life feeling like victims of circumstance, happy when things are going according to their plans, and suffering when they are not. There’s no power in that. You can’t control what life will put on your path. You can’t make someone be something they aren’t, or want something they do not want. But you can work on the way you respond to what you’re given. On the ability to stay centered no matter what is coming at you.

The fourth tool is facing reality as it is. It’s not always going to be the way we want it to be. Sometimes we’ll be lost, heartbroken, confused. A lot of people run when they feel those feelings. Of course we all want the good stuff. We want to feel happy, in love, joyful, inspired, understood. We crave those feelings, and want to avoid the painful stuff. Life is full of both. You’re going to get all of it. You cannot outrun that reality, or deny it, or numb it out, but you can die trying. People tend to think facing those feelings will kill them. It’s the not facing them that does it. Yoga by its very nature is confrontational. Sometimes you’ll show up on your mat full of energy and feeling open and strong. Other days you’ll feel tight and tired. There will be certain poses you love, that feel great in your body, and certain poses you don’t like. The ones you don’t like are usually the ones you need. They’re reflecting back a place where you might be holding tension, physical or emotional. Practicing how we face confrontation is good, since life is full of them. Learning to listen, to respond with honesty, awareness, patience, breath, kindness–these are tools that will serve you well. If you learn to listen to your body that way, if you can give yourself the gifts of respect, understanding, nurturing and acceptance, you’ll be able to do that for other people, too.

Four tools. If you want a happiness guide from me, there you have it. Wishing you the healthiest, most loving, joyful, inspired, HAPPY New Year, yet. If you want to cultivate these tools with me online, just shoot me a comment below and I’ll give you a coupon code. Lots and lots of love, Ally

This is Orange!!!

Acceptance-is-the-vesselI know it can be painful to swallow, but for the most part, people will do what they want to do. I say this because I think many people try to fool themselves, or make excuses for someone else’s behavior, or justify certain actions. Sometimes we want to hold on to our idea of how someone is, or how we want things to be, or how we want someone else to feel, and we just refuse to see reality clearly.

In order to face reality as it is, you have to be able to discern what is real from what is not real. What is you from what is not you. Ideas and opinions and desires can really fog up the lenses. Often we want to see through the glasses that show the outcome we want, and no matter what happens, we press those glasses to our heads, and stick our fingers in our ears, and yell, “Blahblahblah” to drown out the crashing waves of truth. We reject, deny or explain anything that challenges our story, or we numb the edges so that reality almost looks the way we want it to. This person would be with me if they could. Or this path is the right path because I’ve been pursuing it so long I can’t turn back, even though my intuition is screaming at me to make a change. Whenever we deny reality, we set ourselves up to suffer. The truth won’t kill you; not facing it could.

Some people agonize for months or years, grasping on to false hope, creating constructs that uphold the happy ending they desire. I know too many people who can look a person in the eye and insist something is purple when it’s clearly orange. I don’t mean it’s someone’s opinion that it’s orange, I mean it’s actually, factually orange. If you say that, though, you might be met with anguish or rage or stubbornness; sometimes a person needs to hold onto that purple. That false version of reality. If that’s the case, there’s not much you can do. I mean, you really can’t say, “Okay, it’s purple”, and still feel good when you look in the mirror at the end of the day. You can have compassion, you can recognize the pain, you can hope eventually they can loosen their grip on the need to deny. You can love people, but you can’t save them, you can’t press their faces up to the reality of a thing and scream, “This is orange!!!” You’ll just alienate them or break their heart, and maybe they are not yet strong enough to allow their heart to break. You have to be strong to do that.

The thing is, you know in your heart if you’re desperately grasping at something, because you’ll feel sick and exhausted, and things just won’t make sense. You’ll hear yourself explaining the situation to your closest friends, and even to you, the story won’t add up. It’s true that many people are floundering around in the dark, trying to figure out what to do next, with no real idea of which way to turn, so you may deal with someone who doesn’t know what they want. The thing is, if a person wants to be with you, they’ll find a way.

Lots of things in life are complicated, but the truth isn’t one of them. When I say the truth, I just mean what is true for you, and what is true for other people. Love requires bravery and intense vulnerability and a lot of acceptance. It’s challenging, but it isn’t complicated. Joy is simple, too. So is gratitude. The paths to get to these places may be full of thorns and stopovers where you have to look in the most reflective mirrors you’ve ever seen. Mirrors that hold your deepest fears and your most raw, unhealed places. Mirrors that show you your mistakes and your regrets and your desires. You may find yourself having a layover with A Painful Event from Your Past, but if you want to be a peace, you’re going to have to get acquainted with your truest eye. It’s the voice of your intuition, and it’s got 20/20 vision. It can spot excuses hundreds of miles away. Its vision is so clear, it cuts right through judgements and attachments and shoulds, and just sees what is. It’s a relief, really. Working to create a false reality takes a tremendous amount of energy. Facing reality as it is leaves you the energy to move with and toward love. Sending you some right now,

Ally Hamilton

Is This Love?

Nowhere is our stuff more likely to come up than in the context of an intimate relationship; anytime we’re really baring our souls to another person, trusting and opening and revealing and hoping that we’re safe, that we’re choosing wisely. You really do want to take your time when it comes to giving your heart to anyone, that’s a precious gift, and not something you want to do recklessly, or because your hormones are raging, or you’ve been waiting to connect deeply with someone, anyone, for a very long time. Longing to be seen, understood and held is understandable, but this isn’t stuff you can rush or force.

These are natural, beautiful, very human desires; we want at least one person to really see us in all our beauty, with all our flaws and uncertainty, to accept us in the face of all our past mistakes, poor choices, times we let ourselves or others down. It’s a beautiful thing to strip away the protection and stand there in all your vulnerability, but you are the safe-keeper of your tender heart, and I think part of loving yourself well involves your ability to discern what is real from what is not.

I get so many emails from people in confusion around this stuff. If your interaction with someone is making you feel “less than”, insecure, anxious, or extremely confused, there’s no way you’re going to feel safe, and it would be reckless to proceed to offer yourself up without getting some clarity about what’s happening. Honest communication is essential, games are for kids. If you can’t get clear about what’s going on no matter how much you articulate your experience, at a certain point you have to step away. You’re of no good to anyone, including yourself, if you allow your light to be dimmed for too long. Also, when you find yourself participating in a relationship that’s painful, you have an opportunity to do some healing. If someone rejects you or tells you that you don’t measure up, the only reason it hurts is if some part of you believes it to be true. At your core, do you doubt whether you’re worthy of being cherished and treated well? That would be a very good thing to look at, on your own. You can’t heal an old wound if you’re letting someone stick a knife in it all the time.

Sometimes it’s very very painful. We meet someone, and we’re attracted and maybe we’ve been lonely for a good long stretch, and we just dive in. I’d say, go ahead and enjoy yourself, be open and curious, but don’t start planning your wedding, or deciding this is “the one”, give it plenty of time. Let the drug of the beginning subside a little; you can’t really see anything well until the lust/dust clears. If you jump off the deep end and think, “This is it!” in the midst of all that intensity, there’s a decent chance you’re going to run into a brick wall in your not too distant future. Not always, of course there are times when it is, “it”, but if you’re attached to that outcome, you’re going to project all kinds of things onto this other person you really don’t know, instead of getting to know the person they are, which isn’t fair to either one of you. Much of the time, the beginning is so awesome, and then it dies down, and one party or the other is waiting for the person they hung out with in the beginning to show up again. People can wait for years.

Dealing with reality as it is, is always your best bet. It may not unfold the way you wanted it to, or thought it would. Life is full of surprises, twists, turns, disappointments, joy, heartache, loss, love that expands your heart beyond anything you could have imagined, and tears of all kinds. The more you open to the ride, the less you suffer, that’s the truth. The more you cling and try to convince or connive or manipulate or control or force or dance like a monkey to get the outcome you want, the more you rob yourself of the possibility for something authentically, organically amazing to unfold. Reality could be better than your dreams, but you have to trust in that idea, and also trust your gut. If it isn’t flowing, it’s probably not the right thing.

Relationships take nurturing and energy and effort on both sides, but the whole thing shouldn’t feel like one giant struggle, or a constant drama. Being triggered is not the same as being in love. Sometimes an interaction is so familiar, so charged because some of your deepest wounds are in play. People often mistake the intensity of that experience for true love; playing out ancient history and assuming this is it because it feels like home, even if home was nuts. Love feels good. Love is freeing and accepting and embracing. It doesn’t pull you close and push you away. People struggling to love do that. Use the tools you’ve got. Feel with your heart and your gut and see with your eyes and trust yourself. Take good care of that gorgeous heart.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3

Sing it Out

I think there are two essential questions to answer if you want to be at peace in this world–what are your gifts, and how will you share them? If you want to feel like your life has meaning, and you want to feel a sense of purpose, that’s at the heart of it. Giving feels good; to feel like you have something to offer that is of value, creates a state of inspiration and gratitude. It lights a fire under your a$$. It could be as simple and profound as the love you give to the people in your life. I don’t know of anything, really, that feels better than giving from your heart, with everything you’ve got.

There are questions in this life you’ll never answer. How much time do you have? How much time do the people you love, have? What happens after this? Some people experience “paralysis through analysis” in small ways and in large. You can think a thing to death, but your intuition never lies. There are people living in quiet agony because their heart is crying out for something, but their mind is overwhelmed with the complications around seeing it through; with can’t and shouldn’t, and who am I to think I could pull that off?

It can be challenging to separate things out sometimes. What you really want, versus what you believe you should want, or what other people want you to want. If you can quiet that storm in your mind, you’ll know what to do. You might not know how to do it, but you won’t be confused about what’s real for you. The rest of it is finding the strength to face it. It’s not always easy to accept what you know, because often that means change is necessary, and even though everything is in a state of flux, there’s a tendency to resist that. We like stability so much, we can be willing to sacrifice the song in our hearts. Sometimes people become paralyzed in a larger sense. The big questions are so overwhelming, the lack of available answers so profound, a person is left unable to see the point of being alive at all. Hopes, dreams, intentions, plans, all seem absurd, and many people end up just existing, instead of living.

There are things you can know. You can know yourself, for example. You can figure out what triggers you, where you still have some healing to do. You can figure out what lights you up and feeds your soul. You can allow the unanswerable questions to motivate you, so you don’t waste the time you have. Fear is a perfectly natural feeling we’ll all experience, but the more you allow yourself to open to it without letting it stop you, the less power it will have over you as you move forward.

Obligation is a terrible motivator. Too many people get caught up in “should.” There’s something burning within them, but they push it down or deny it because they don’t want to hurt other people with their truth. When you deny what you know in your heart to be true, it’s just soul-crushing. You get one go-around in the body you’re in, I think we know that much. You have a finite amount of time. How many years do you allow yourself to live halfway? What do you think happens to those dreams you don’t pursue because you tell yourself you shouldn’t? Where do you carry the pain of that? Somewhere in your psyche, and I’d suggest you’ll also carry those things in your body. A life half-lived will make you heartsick. Every wasted day has a pull to it, a weight, a dread, because somewhere you know this is not it, and time is passing.

The vulnerability of this thing is real, you might as well open to it. In fact, I’d say the more you embrace it, the more you liberate yourself, the less likely you are to become paralyzed. Since there are some questions we’ll never answer, live all the way. Give every last bit of love you’ve got every day, for all the days you’re here. Leave nothing in the tank. Who knows what happens next, but at least your now will be amazing, at least your now will be on fire.

Sending you love, and hoping you light it up, and sing your song,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3

Love Doesn’t Blossom in a Prison

Sometimes, in an effort to feel secure, we strangle the life out of a thing. For many, many people, facing the reality that anything living is in a constant state of flux is a hugely uncomfortable task. Nature is teaching us all the time, though. The seasons change, the leaves fall off the trees, the branches are barren and then the buds appear and the tree blooms again. Flowers grow and blossom and fade from whence they came, and new flowers spring up. You, yourself are always changing, shifting, evolving, growing; so is everyone else you know. Your body has an unknown expiration date, so does everyone else’s. We won’t know for sure what happens after this until we exhale for the last time. If you want to hide from the vulnerability and constant motion of this experience, you’re going to need to find a huge rock, earplugs and something to tie around your eyes, too.

It’s completely understandable that we’d like to be able to count on at least a few things, to create a little order out of all the uncertainty. The thing is, nature is wild and gorgeous and uncontrollable, and you are part of nature, you’re not separate from it. You can make choices about what you’d like the shape of your life to look like, and the way you’re going to show up, and you can control your behavior if you work on it. You can develop the ability to choose one thought over another. You can do the work to heal your deepest wounds, and you can uncover the limitless well of love you have within you. Then you can share it. So those are two things you can count on: everything is always changing, and your power lies in your response to what life puts in your path. But if you want to control your path or the people who may be walking it with you, you’re in for trouble.

Human beings are funny. We meet someone and we think, ohhhhh, look at this person, so beautiful, so wonderful, this is a person I want, and we enjoy the rush of the beginning. When the lust/dust clears, if something real is there we begin the process of knowing each other. It takes time and a willingness to see clearly. Right out of the gate people struggle with this. They want to see what they want to see. Maybe they’ve been waiting for love for a long time, and in the rush of hormones they’ve thought, “This is it!” They’re in love with the idea of being in love, and then the clinging begins. This has to be it, so this person has to conform to the idea I have about how my partner should be, they have to look like my vision board! They have to want what I want them to want, and anything that challenges my vision has to be rejected. The minute you cling to an outcome, you can bet you’re going to suffer. People are not possessions, and they are not obligated to want what you want, but love is a vulnerable undertaking, too, and it’s natural to want to feel like you can relax. How else to trust and open?

Two people have to keep choosing each other every day, every moment, that’s the only way. You can’t force someone to feel the way you want them to, you can’t cajole or convince anyone to fall madly in love with you; they will or they won’t. Selling yourself is a terrible price to pay for security. So is trying to be something other than what you are, in all your unique beauty. Withholding your love or attention or affection to get what you want is not loving. Setting up markers for your relationship, certain brass rings that have to be grabbed by certain deadlines is not loving, either, but when our fear outweighs our love, what ought to feel like an embrace becomes a stranglehold.

Love is not controlling or manipulative. It doesn’t need shackles, and it won’t grow in a prison. The more fear you put in the soil, the more you strangle the plant. No one wants to be owned or controlled. People long to be seen, heard, understood, cherished, but no one wants to be crushed under the weight of someone else’s insecurity. We’re all insecure enough; insecurity is a given. Also, being human, when we feel completely secure we start to take that security for granted. We don’t pay as close attention, we don’t show up the way we did. A relationship is a living, breathing thing. It needs nurturing, it needs to be fed. If you neglect it or mistreat it, it’s going to die. If you love someone, you’re making the choice to see them and to honor them, and you have to keep making that choice if you want the love to last through all the ups and downs and vulnerability inherent in the nature of all living things. I’m not just talking about romantic love, here. You can’t predict the future, you can only love in the now. When you recognize that everything is always changing, and nothing can be taken for granted, you’ll feel inspired to love with everything you’ve got, every moment you’ve got. Better get busy if you need to.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3

Use Your Key

The best way to meet fear is to allow yourself to feel it. For many people, social situations are a nightmare. What to say? What to wear? What to do if you’re left in a corner and no one is talking to you? What to say or what not to say if someone is talking to you? Whether you’ll get that call, and how badly you’ll feel if you don’t. Public speaking, lots of people are terrified about that. There’s fear of intimacy, the risks required to tear down your carefully constructed walls. Fear you’ll never live a life that feels good to you, you’ll never reach your potential. Or the fear that you will, and then what? Fear of spiders, challenging conversations, hurting other people, rejection, dying alone. There are all kinds of things that might scare you.

Being scared isn’t a problem; running from the feeling is. If you’re panicked, there’s a reason, and you have an opportunity to know something about yourself, probably something very important. All the shadow emotions are markers. They’re like burning flags, waving in the wind patiently, waiting to be examined. They’re marking those places where you still have some healing to do, but so many people are so averse to feeling uncomfortable, they flee. They fling the feeling away, or numb it out, or deny that it exists. They run from that flag like their life depended on it, when in actuality, their life depends on their willingness to walk right at it. If you can’t sit with your sadness and allow the tears to spill, how can you relieve your pain? If a close friend called you in real need, do you think you’d help them by hanging up the phone? Or getting them drunk, or taking them shopping or getting them laid? Yes, I said that, because many people seek relief from their pain in those ways, and no, none of those things would help. Dr. Earl A. Grollman on this, “The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

When I say the “shadow emotions”, I mean fear, rage, shame, guilt, doubt, insecurity, jealousy, bitterness. The feeling of having been betrayed, or judged or shunned — any of those feelings that have some heat to them. Culturally, we aren’t trained to sit with that stuff. We’re told, “Don’t be sad”, “Don’t be scared”, “Don’t be angry”, as if we could just snap our fingers and make the feelings vanish. We learn some feelings are not acceptable, some feelings make those around us uncomfortable, and so we should hide them. In our crazy framework, men aren’t supposed to show fear, and women aren’t supposed to be angry. You know what we call an angry woman. We have a word for it, and it isn’t nice, but this premise is so nuts. We will all feel everything, regardless of gender. We will all have moments when we wonder what we’re doing here, and what happens after this. We’ll all doubt our ability to have an impact on the world around us from time to time. We’ll all wish we could do certain things over again, and differently. This is called being human. We aren’t robots. We can’t edit out or shut off the parts that are unwanted.

I met an eighty-seven year old woman today. It’s not the first time I’ve met her, she’s the mother of a good friend, but it’s the first time we really talked. Her husband died this year, and her brother, and his wife. She told me she goes out every night. Goes to the theater, goes to her bridge club, volunteers. She said it doesn’t change anything, but it makes the people around her feel she’s okay. Can I tell you my heart broke a little? She was married for sixty-six years and her husband never wanted her to have lunch or tea or anything at all with any other man. She told me that while she laughed and shook her head. I told her he knew he had a good thing. My point is, this life makes you vulnerable. That’s what’s asked of you. To open your heart, even though you understand your time is finite. Feel your feelings. Feel all of it. The heartache, the despair, the uncertainty. Feel it so it doesn’t block you, because life is simply too precious for that. You don’t have years to waste being stuck. It might take you years to heal, but that’s different than time spent on the run. What you run from, owns you. That’s clear, right? Anything you won’t face controls you. You’re not meant to be controlled, that’s why it doesn’t feel good. You’re meant to be liberated, but you have to use your key. Hoping that you do, and sending so much love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here <3