Why would anyone want to lose control?
When we live in a world that teaches us–
that encourages us–to gain mastery over every part of our lives.
With self-help sections of bookstores and libraries bursting with guidance.
And every one around us offering advice on how to fix our lives to perfection.
No one tells us how to free ourselves from our own constraints.
From our own judgements and reprisal.
No one wants us to be untethered and careless.
We fit in best when we match the routines surrounding us.
When we follow the rules of order created by others.
I know because I constantly battle to free myself creatively. To take risks. To be bold.
And to journey into an unknown that is both terrifying and exhilarating.
Perhaps it’s harder because I do love order. I love to have my things easy to find. In great condition and useful.
I enjoy feeling in control. I am proud in my mastery of daily living. And I also do enjoy the recognition from others.
But wanting organization cannot be the same as freeing your soul to enjoy the best of life.
Or is it?
Right now I desire to feel the truth of nature. Of my nature. The recklessness of losing myself in time and space.
Without worry. Without regret. Without guilt.
Where others let go of their expectations of me so I may discover my own uniqueness. My own truth. The harmony of my soul with life.
I am on a journey and haven’t yet arrived.
I am not ready to unpack my bags and stay put.
I seek new frontiers of experience. New vistas to challenge the creativity that lies, buried in the recesses of my soul.
What will it take to free me? Perhaps in my quest there is no answer.
There is only action. And actions taken will lead me further down the path of discovery.
The path to who I really am. And all that I may be.
By Tessa Saks
As your apprentice, am I legally bound to learn about love
from you–the master craftsman of desire?
Have I learned enough to make my way in the world
and cut the ties to the network of support
you give. Support that removes the doubts and fears
from my restless imagining
and leaves me free to envision a love
that is strong enough to endure all the many
challenges and setbacks that life weaves into the fabric of our nature.
Am I more than an apprentice? Have I evolved to surpass all that has been shown
and given? Am I not ready, now, for love? For real love that doesn’t harbor excuses or complaint.
A love that understands the words not spoken and releases the guilt of further heartache.
I am ready to move past the learning and failures. Past the rejected attempts for approval.
For I am now beyond you.
I have evolved past obedience and am ready for love that shares beyond the borders of greed and righteousness.
Ready to open my heart to the swelling tide of rapture without regret. Compassion without pity.
I am whole. A renewal of the bitter pieces made complete. And I have you to thank.
My patient and relentless master. The guidepost of my journey. The one who allowed me to fail and rebuild and rediscover
the joy of independence. The pleasure of self-fulfillment and determination.
Could I have risen so far without your steady support in my frailest hours?
I know the answer well. And so I thank you and bid you farewell.
For I am complete. I am whole again and ready to embrace the winds of love and all it’s storms.
Ready for the risks and danger that opening my heart exposes me to.
Waiting, in eager anticipation, of the endless possibilities that now lay before me.
And excited by the untapped potential to journey beyond my safety and discover
along the way
the many facets of love.
By Tessa Saks
One thing I never considered in the self-reflection of my passions—-is their relation to greed.
Am I greedy?
Guilty as charged.
I declare my avid love of books. Of art. Of history. Of beautiful objects. Of costumes and fashion history. Of flowers and trees. Of oceans and beaches. Of babies.
Of living. Of loving.
I enjoy indulging in all of these and more. And my appetite never wanes. I can never have enough. My sensory overload is limitless when it comes to my desires. I seem to gain energy from my longings. They charge with pleasure in multitudes of ways. I become more. More connected. More loving. More joyous. More forgiving. More tolerant. More compassionate. More creative. More of the real me. The one free from the expectations of others.
I need only to think about the these loves of mine and I am happier. And when I experience them firsthand–happier still. I am boundless in my cravings.
And like an addict, they seem to grow. Enlarging my appetite for more. Opening space within my soul for new experiences and opportunities. There is never enough. Never an end. Never a feeling of completion. For this is an onward journey, expanding the horizons of my soul.
And so I am also greedy. My insatiable demand for more is endless. And despite what others may think or say, I will continue forever in my quest to relish in the richness of life and all the encounters that lay before me.
I am evolving. And avid. So very very avid.
But the bigger question I wonder is:
Are you avid and greedy too?
What is a promise?
Is it an absolute? A must do?
Or is it a kinda-sorta type of thing?
I see promises as extensions of our inner souls and as such we must be aware of what we do promise both to ourselves and to others.
For promises are often broken, but not with intent. More often it is with a failure of understanding the scope of the commitment and the ability to live up to it.
I promise myself all kind of little things only to fail.
And in failing, to frustrate myself again and again.
I’ve promised myself to stop swearing. Fail.
I’ve promised myself to be organized. Fail.
I’ve promised myself to stop eating late. Fail.
Instead of punishing myself, I should accept my limitations.
And work to understand why it is so hard for me to keep these vows. Are they even possible?
Where is the disconnect?
Is it in my heart? Do I really mean what I say?
Or am I merely saying what I think I should say, without reference to who I am?
Do I care more about appearances than truth?
Why is it so easy to lie to ourselves? To pretend we are different than we are.
I think it happens when we are afraid to be ourselves.
Afraid to look inside and see what really motivates us and inspires us. Or scares us.
When I look at the promises that are easy to keep “to love, honor and cherish” for example, what makes it easy is when it is unconditional and free.
I allow myself to be true to my heart.
It only becomes challenging when I begin to hold expectations of what others need to do or need to be.
But did my promise have conditions? Did I suddenly rewrite the rules?
Or perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my pledge?
Maybe promises to others should be clear enough that there is room for amendments.
Or perhaps it is better to not make promises.
But to live in the moment and say “today I love you with all my heart”.
“I want to continue to love you forever.”
“So let’s both do this every day.”
Then in 20 years we can see if it was a promise or merely a dream.
And I hope with every fiber of my being
that our love will prove to be a promise that we kept.
by Tessa Saks
Ever lose something? Something that seemed impossible to replace?
What determines the value to us?
Is it merely that it is irreplaceable? Or precious?
I think the things we value most are the ones stored in our hearts. We love them and need them so we create a backup of memories in case of loss.
The people we love have an important place there. So too our loving animals. These are the sacred values. The ones that make life better and hard to live without. One of life’s bitter ironies is that often we don’t realize just how much we value someone until they’re gone. Then the backup memory isn’t enough. You miss them more than you could ever imagine. You would give anything to have another moment with them.
So while I might value my house or my car or all my books, I now realize that what I value most can never be replaced. It’s the one that is so easy to take for granted.
It’s the love I share with others. And the love I receive when I stop putting other things ahead of people.
But what about value as a moral compass? How do I define what my values are?
I see them as an extension of what matters most to me. By choosing to do one thing and not the other I see my values in action. Every day, every choice is related to what I value. I want a healthy body so I make choices for it to thrive. Not always. But I know
that if I can sacrifice what I want with what I need instead, I am adding value to my life.
Values are woven into all that I do and say.
So if you want to see your values, look at your choices.
And if you want to show how valuable someone or something is, make better choices.
Demonstrate that this, above all else, is what I value.
By Tessa Saks
Who am I?
What is the message I send to the world?
Am I who I think I am?
If we had no clothes how would we express ourselves? And how important would it be to display our inner message to others? Would body marking be the rage? Would we be happier?
I am not my clothes. Never have been. But they do offer clues as to who I am trying to be or who I want to be. And thankfully, it has changed over the years.
What we wear is important in our society as every job or status-role has predefined ideals and standards of what is acceptable and what isn’t. You can think you are a rebel but somehow you are still conforming to a pre-set bunch of rules.
From Hudderites in black and white polka-dots to bikers in leather vests to saffron colored zen robes, there are codes for who we are–and maybe more important– what group we belong to. And in a way they do help hide who we are afraid we aren’t. A uniform can add confidence and bury fear. But for how long?
I have purposely tried to avoid following fashion as dictated by the magazines and instead sought to find my own style. One that represents how I feel about who I am and what I love. But I am still influenced. I love fabric and color and texture. I appreciate beautiful workmanship.
I do want people to understand more about me by what I wear. Years ago, I tried to go super-conservative for work and found myself living a lie. I wanted to belong and to fit in, but I was not who I pretended to be. I needed to let my inner diva out. And when I finally admitted this to myself, I also changed jobs.
I need freedom to be me.
And the outer layers of my clothing do represent a slice of the inner me.
I am grateful to live in a world where we can use clothing as a message to others about a tiny part of us.
And I fear a future world like in sci-fi which has us wearing jumpsuits or matching uniforms. A massive army of clones, afraid to be different. Afraid to stand out. Afraid to take chances and make mistakes. Because I would rather look back at my crazy 80’s shoulder pads knowing that I experimented and took some chances, than have a photo album full of safe and boring outfits to match a safe and boring life.
So yes to self-expression. It’s what living is all about.
Is life a test?
It has to be. Why else would bad things happen if not to test our resolve?
Or to help us grow?
I see life as an uncharted map with multiple options at every moment. And in those options lie opportunities.
The opportunity to be kind.
The opportunity to forgive.
The opportunity to help.
The opportunity for adventure.
The opportunity to learn.
For risk/reward or risk/lesson.
Maybe instead of thinking in terms of a test where there is a pass/fail mindset–how about life as a series of lessons?
And the lessons move us forward so we can try new things without fear.
The more lessons we take, the more we grow and evolve.
Instead of reliving mistakes and bad luck or poor choices, we learn from them and continue on a path towards better choices.
Perhaps at the end of our life, when all our lessons are over, we see the results of this test. A big picture essay of our life. And of all that we have done. And the score isn’t measured on a pass/fail but on a contribution to living.
Did we live?
Did we love?
Did we try?
Was there effort towards something?
And most important–
Did we learn from our choices and: Make things better? Become happier and more alive?
So where are you now in this test of life?
By Tessa Saks