Inside the Heart of A. Bernadette

It all began last May. I was half way through my year returning to corporate America when I stumbled upon a psychic at the Green Festival in NYC. She told me about my love life. She told me I’d meet a man who liked to climb mountains, worked in a hospital but not in the traditional sense, that he had an unusual schedule, would give me 2 girls when I was 33 and would break my heart over and over again. I stopped dating immediately; cut off any relationships I was currently in and began to date myself.

Heart break is not fun whether you are on the receiving or giving end. I’ve always chased men. I’ve always been a go getter. The idea of sitting ideally waiting for anything to happen seems insane. At the same time I am the first to run away. If something is not fun I retreat to the last place that was. My life is for the most part fun, carefree, and full of adventure. Men seem to be the only source of stress, strain and hurt.  

Instead of continuing dating, looking for the “right” person, I decided to look inward. I began seeing a therapist who took me through past life regression. The idea is as we live our lives we lose ourselves, our past lessons, whether in this life or a past one. Society teaches us to conform and perform to fulfill certain functions. Many of those functions are not good or bad, just a product of the society we live in. Meditation, hypnosis, and other forms of conscious building allow us to reconnect with ourselves, ones own goals, ambitions, loves, pleasures and more.

In combination with the therapy I began reading, sometimes 2-3 books at a time, mostly about feminism but not your mothers feminism. Before diving into such literature I tried to converse with women of all different ages asking, how do you use your sexy? In our society being young, good looking, carefree are the most sought after qualities but than what? The skinnier I get, the hotter I become does not result in the people around me becoming more interesting, nicer, supportive people. So often our culture makes us believe if I had this body, or that hair, or that item I’d feel happy and fulfilled but so often we revert to tearing others down when these superficial items do nothing but create greater self doubt.

I believe in order to succeed in true happiness we must embrace all aspects of ourselves. God gave me sexy but how can it help my business, help me find companionship, help me build community? I do not believe in using sex to manipulate, tease, increase my power, or as a divisive tool. I want a role model who uses their sexiness for good, someone who was confident in both her strengths and weaknesses, interesting, a bit of a radical, who was at the top of their field, had healthy relationships, a loving partners, family, and overall lived a life she chose to live.

In order to find that person I looked to my books, writers such as Roxanne Gaye, Bell Hooks, Hanna Rosin, Laurie Penny, and many others. These women spoke of all different types of woman. The label feminist began to take form in my mind, someone who supports woman living any life they choose. I like to go to the extreme and think whatever expectations you have of men, woman should be accepted by society for fucking up just as much. If you want to focus your life on work, family, friends, lovers, husbands, building, climbing, cattle ranching, you should be able to do so without judgment. My mother always told me, I can be anything I want to be but what she left out was people might not accept you for it or love you because of it. 

After the past life regression was over, and the summer came to a close, my mind would not let me forget about a certain someone. A man I had repeatedly thrown back into the sea to be with the other fishes. A man I instantly connected with but could never seem to “get.” Always baffled by our inability to meet each other halfway I reached out to him further than I ever had before but once again he was not ready for me.  

As my studies continued, I fell in love with Bell Hooks. I began to see feminism was not just about accepting the complexities of women’s lives but unlearning the harmful side affects of patriarchy; power, money, war, independence and fear. Men have lost in the system just as much as women have. Men who were told to suppress their emotions from day one, men who are strangled by fear of not being seen as a “real man”, and men who view woman as a situation that needs to be managed or handled. If woman’s conformity is a tight corset we let loose each night, men’s conformity is a loaded gun always sitting atop their shoulders. 

Lovelessness or our inability to love ourselves became my new focal point. Why are we not taught how to love? Why do our parent’s shower us with love but never request it in return? How can I teach love to others? I believe you have to meet people where they are at, be a positive example, and give them multiple changes to learn and grow. Bell Hooks believes love is the willingness to help someone and one’s self in regards to their spiritual growth. How can I help you become the best version of you? What do you consider the best version of you?

In the fall I began this outward journey. Trying to be supportive, loving, helpful, and motivational to all that surrounded me. Genuinely concerned for my friends and loved ones well being, I believed community building was the key to loving and being loved. Instead of asking what people can do for me, I asked what I can do for them. So often our minds are set on finding a loving relationship with one person, someone we are sexually attracted to, someone who will fulfill our needs. I believe this is the wrong approach. There should be many in your lives that are there to assist in spiritual growth and you assisting in theirs.  

Now as the winter continues and my life changes from input mode to output mode I continue to think, during the season of love, on how to love better. My plan is to continue to date myself, build up and support those around me, reach out to the man who probably needs my love the most and extend myself to strangers. My advise to those who are seeking love… be bold, “embarrass” yourself, do not be ashamed to give in to your desires, and share those desires with the world as often as you can.

 

Love,

A. Bernadette

 

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