How do we access the core of who we are as an individual? How do we go about finding the right person who complements us and we complement them?
This morning, I started my ongoing journey. I go still, sitting on my couch with a blanket around me attempting to create a cozy-womb like experience to go into a place of calm. When I go to the place of quietness, I begin to see and understand.
I begin to feel, and from the feelings come the center of who I am. Reading something that guides me to this place along with mediation, prayer, and writing down words and thoughts all contribute to finding this place of peace, of understanding.
I am reading a book that seems to find that center of knowing our intimate beings and of what I like to call the God-center of our being. Written by Ken Page, Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy has proven in the first few chapters to live to its title and description.
Ken Page attempts to guide single people to what he calls their core gifts. Those unique parts of us that are many times hidden under the artifices of posturing, looking perfect, and playing the many games grown adults think are necessary to find true love.
Core gifts are those places of great fulfillment and of pain. Like a two-sided coin, our core gifts are guides to seeing who we are to ourselves and then how we will relate to others. Finding and living in these components of who we are can be assessed through our points of pain and of pleasure.
The premise is you find your core gifts and live in them to such a great degree that you attract someone who resonates with your true self. You also don’t discount or diminish the true longings you have.
And so, I sit on my couch this morning, ambient instrumental music playing on my Pandora station, and I imagining myself in the deep woods of my center self. I go into an imaginary place where I find peace and love- I imagine deep, green-laden woods and a grove of aspens.
I begin to ask myself what my core gifts are. I take a pencil in hand, using my non-dominant hand , I write the words across a large sketch pad I keep for this purpose. I write with my non-dominant hand because the idea is that using the unfamiliar hand helps our brain access the subconscious thoughts more easily.
I come to some lovely though about what my core gift that has been placed within me and how that might look in my life. How does the realization of these core gifts help me attract the right man?
Being a single woman for the past eight years, I feel as if I am more of a social scientist when it comes to online dating and finding the right person for me. With each encounter (I don’t like to call them relationships unless they last more than three months), I struggle with my own stuff, working it out and seeing the patterns that don’t serve me; trying to break those patterns.
Progress has been made. I must add with the help of an amazing woman, Mary Hoffman who has been my guide and loving teacher( http://www.theworkofthesoul.com).
I also observe others as they attempt to find love. I went to a social event this past Wednesday. It’s at upscale steak restaurant owned by the once famous quarterback for the Denver Bronco’s- John Elway. During the summer, Elway’s restaurant cordons off a large entertainment area outside, in back of the restaurant. Trees dot the area for shade while booths line the edges of the area for people to buy booze. A stage is erected with a live band, playing all evening.
It is mostly a place for the mature single to go and mingle with other singles. This is the first time I have attended such an event. I go with three other women I have recently met.
The air is cool; the night will be another lovely Colorado night. The band is warming up, singing and playing music most of us in our forties and fiftie’s grew up listening to.
I intermingle with other men (and meet a couple of great women as well). But I also observe. I’ve chosen to drink nothing alcoholic. What I see unfold throughout the evening was disheartening. Yes, people were talking. They were meeting new people. The music was lively and as more people showed up and more alcohol flowed, there was more interaction.
I don’t want to put a damper on the whole event, but I felt and saw people who appeared more to be in pain, artifice, longing, lostness, confusion, ego, desire, false hopes, greed/gain (what man or woman can I meet next? Perhaps he/she is better than the other one I just met?), and loss of value.
Perhaps I am seeing too much through my own lens of protection and vulnerability, but I left the event glad that I had gone, and with a lot of compassion for people in general looking for something outside themselves.
We as humans desire deep connections. But in order to experience such deep connections, we must first connect with our own lovely gifts that we have been born with, given through difficulties and through sorrows, as well as through the many lenses of love.
I sometimes go to the Bible and open a passage that perhaps I haven’t read before or wouldn’t normally go to. This morning when I was meditating, I opened the Bible to Isaiah 28: 23-29. Now this may seem a bit off, but what I read I may be able to tie into all this about who we are, what our gifts are and how we come to harvest them in our lives and with others.
Bear with me please.
Listen and hear my voice;pay attention and hear what I say.
“When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?
When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place? barley in its plot and spelt the field?”
His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.
Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, not is a cartwheel rolled over cumin.
Caraway is beaten out with a rod and cumin with a stick. Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever.
Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it.
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.
What this means to me is:
- We have to plow our hearts in order to find and produce. Translation: What you are going through now, what ground has to be plowed in order to reap a harvest is necessary. This usually is not fun and takes work and courage. Do it. It is a necessary step.
- Different seeds are scattered and planted in different ways. Translation: You create and cultivate your life, your gifts in different ways. You continually replenish and plant. Our lives are cycles of furrowing, planting and harvesting.
- Different crops are harvested, specifically to their properties. Translation: This one has me stumped a bit, but what I think it means is that what is produced and how it is harvested in my life will be different with each area. And very importantly, I can’t use the same method for each area (gift, experience, person I meet, etc.). I have to be aware and open to all sorts of lessons, opportunities, and interactions. I can’t see these moments as failures or disappointments, as much as ways to learn.
- It is important to not overdo it. You don’t crush the caraway because you will destroy it. You beat it with a stick. You may thresh the wheat, but not forever and not to excess. Translation: Be gentle with yourself and others. Realize there are different ways to accomplish what you desire. Be gentle with the process of living out of your core gifts and expressing them in your lives and others.
In all this, there is the reminder placed within this passage, like bookends, that God is loving, supportive, wise and magnificent. It is also repeated many times in the beginning: “Pay attention! Listen!”
I think we forget as humans, walking among ourselves, like the many people at Elway’s last week, that we don’t have to be lost, that we don’t have to be grabbing with our egos for something that feels beyond our reach, out there. We need to cultivate within our gifts and then harvest in such a way that others take part in the plenty of our gifts. And we have to pay attention, listen, to God, to our inner voice and know that we are being supported, we are being guided, we are being loved.