The first thing I tend to think of when I consider demons is a gargoyle-like figure with an evil grin coming to get me. Perhaps if our demons were that tangible, they’d be that much easier to defeat. A swift blow with a sword, running him over with the car, or lighting him on fire would surely rid you of that pesky annoyance. If only it were that easy.

What we find instead is that our demons are completely invisible to the eye, but cause the most pain. These demons show themselves in all their glory cloaked in the thickness of fear. They are the voices that get louder in your mind shutting down possibility before it takes root. They are death to hope. These demons lead you steadily & deliberately away from the very source that has the power to definitively defeat it; Love.

What is it that allows these invisible forces to consume us to the extent that it can control our thoughts, words and actions. Make good people lie and deceive. Make strong confident men and women cower in shame. How does this happen? Pain begets pain, I suppose. But don’t we have a choice in this battle? Don’t some choose to fight those demons, and don’t some win?

I refuse to ever believe we are powerless. I wholeheartedly believe in every human’s capacity to change, if they choose to. Perhaps I’m disproportionately built with more optimism than pessimism, or perhaps is naivety over realism, but I lean towards the good. Otherwise, what is the point of all this anyway?




Pondering Real Love

Our first examples of love come from our parents. Before we see & understand actions that equate to love, we feel it. Through touch, through the soothing vibrations of our mother and father’s voice. We feel comfort. Safety. Familiarity. Before we know the meaning of these words there’s something recognizable, utterly subconscious that binds us to the two people responsible for bringing us into the world. And from there on, after about a decade on the earth, we are set out on a quest to obtain this “love” for ourselves. An innate instinct it seems. For centuries other cultures around the globe have established marriage and children as early as the teenage years. It is instinctual, natural to our species, so it seems.

I for one know that my concept of love was shaped and enhanced between the day of my birth, up to the present day, by a number of images and sensations of the world. From half heartedly watching glimpses of overly dramatic soap operas with men and women interacting strangely and mashing each other’s faces together. To movies with perfectly placed instrumentals that tentalated emotional currents and made eyes well up with tears. Songs, millions of them, all about the same thing – love! Hurt in love, longing for love, trying to get your love, wanting to make love. Sung with deep passion! There’s nothing like some beautiful vocals to make you feel the words to a song in a way nothing else can compare to. All of these pieces like puzzles forming an image of what love is. With of course your example at home being the most influential image & example.

So what do we end up learning love is? The music focuses on the feeling of love. So with that, it’s not hard to see why as a teenager I was certain I had fallen in love with my first crush & was hell bent on confirming that we were soul mates & were headed to the altar. And what 6th grade boy would ever be thinking that?!? But I had observed all of these tidbits of what love is supposed to be, hadn’t everyone else had the same experience?

It’s not until your twenties I think that you begin to have your first serious adult relationships and you find that people come with their own perspectives and realities, and they rarely sync up with yours. You find out about baggage, emotional scars, and fatherless sons. And as you go through enough relationships, you come to see that all men, without exception, are all still little boys in grown up bodies. Underneath their profession, their grown up appearance, their paycheck, their belongings, their friends, they are all just little boys trying to find their way and looking for the same comforts they had as little boys.

What I’ve come to realize about women is that we are no different. For years I’ve heard about the theories that women are groomed to be gentle flowers. We are doused in pink from the moment we exit the womb, coddled and cuddles, treated as delicate as glass. Read stories about princesses and Prince Charming that would come rescue us. We are groomed to be pursued & swept off our feet by the “feeling” of love. Those romantic movies, that are made just for us. But let’s examine those movies. What is it that makes those chiseled, dreamy eyed leading men “so romantic” and ideal? It’s because they anticipate the needs & desires of their leading lady. They do the unexpected. They plan an intimate dinner. They wisk her away on extravagant trips. They do things that blow her mind and make her smile. They anticipate. They’re one step ahead. And isn’t that what our parents did for us?

If we were out, they had a stroller to cart us around because they knew we’d get tired & drift into a peaceful slumber. When it was cold they always made sure we were properly bundled. When we were hungry they had food. When we were upset they were there to prevent or fix it. Their whole job when we are little and defenseless is to anticipate our needs and fulfill them. I think as grown ups, this is what we truly seek at a fundamental level.

We want the guy to know that we want red roses and a hot bath waiting for us when we have a hard day at work. We don’t care or consider that his experience and perception of expressing love may be to shower you with affection. Or even better, maybe in his household his father kept to himself & was the provider and that was how you showed your love; by providing for a good life for the woman you love. We want the guy to magically understand why we are being soap opera irrational & over the top, and instead of getting angry we want him to grab us by our feet and pull us back down to the ground by talking us through our whole psychosis and letting us know he truly understands and “gets” us. That’s what they do in the movies… We are seriously nuts for having these far fetched expectations!! It’s a struggle getting men to “anticipate” that we’ll be using the toilet after them, let alone understanding our constantly working, complicated, minds!

Anticipation. That’s what’s sexy to us. That’s what we call romantic. Being one step ahead of us. Surprise. It sparks that bouncing ball of jubilee in your stomach that feels like popcorn bursting inside. It’s that feeling that makes your eyes widen and sparkle. Drives a wide and deep smile across your face, when those kinds of smiles become more rare as you venture deeper into “adulthood” there is nothing more than an endless impetuous landscape of seriousness, struggles, blandness, and restriction. This anticipation reminds you of safety, comfort, and familiarity. It feels like home.

So I’ve resolved we are all truly little boys and girls in search of the same comforts of home in our grown up worlds. And this becomes a fierce, fierce challenge because as the evolution of this world has spiraled on over the years, there is less and less that is “uniformly known”. When there was generally one style of fashion, the same songs were popular to everyone at the same time, everyone learned the same thing, came from similar homes, grew up with similar goals they pursued; today there are 100 options for each of these. There is no norm, except that we are all human.

So how does anyone find love truly? And remain in love? With such odds stacked against us! Well, I can’t say I’ve got the magic answer on that. But knowing all of the facts is half the battle! So perhaps if we acknowledge the little boy or girl inside of us, and truly understand those fundamental needs we are desiring that our significant other anticipate for us, just maybe we can be that much closer to identifying a person who does this naturally, versus someone you’re constantly frustrated with for not anticipating these needs.

Peace & Love

The Power of the “How To”

It is the most fundamental question that we have as human beings…”how do I….?” Depending upon your vantage point and stage in life, the ending to that question will vary. How do I become relevant? How do I fit in? How do I gain his/her favor? How do I become a woman? How do I become a man? How do I parent? How do I choose my path in life? How do I know if I am right/wrong? How do I avoid failure? How do I achieve success? How do I find happiness?

Behind every story of triumph that any man or woman deemed “great” might tell, rich with staggering obstacles, odds stacked against them, and a road that looked bleak, will always refer back to the oneperson in their life that did something that no one else did…take the time with them to believe in them and teach them. The bond between a mother and daughter or a father and son, or those that serve as surrogates; grandmothers and grandfathers, or even more precious those who have no blood tie…that took the time. The men who spoke directly into the curious and anxious hearts of young girls desperate for acceptance, belonging, and attention and told her that she was worthy of greater than what the young knuckleheads around her were offering. And the young men who were taught by men with broad shoulders that men look each other in the eye, and shake hands firmly. Grandmothers with grandbabies around her feet like swirling leaves, planted between her knees she would grease and braid wisdom into their hair. Life lessons passed from lips to ear, life’s stories and struggles that led them to here.

See, we don’t really recognize it when it is happening, but in a moment those words shape you. It is surprising when I find that the most mundane task or a certain situation will whisk me back to the words of someone who shaped me. Do you hear their words? When you are about to betray yourself? Or when you come across something that they warned you about long ago? Or when you fail, do you hear them pushing you to start again? These words, above all else, make us who we are. Where there is love and care for the seed it will grow and prosper, and we have come to know that it only takes one! How fascinating…just one connection, to spark the light that will grow to a roaring blaze. Just one.

We know that a seed that is not fortunate to germinate in the best of circumstances will absorb and become like that which it is fed. Life will go on, but what is gained of this life lived in misery?

We are all searching for the “how to” in life. We are all the product of what our surroundings teach us we are to be. Fortunate are those of us born into loving families that shield us from harm and evil, and tell us we are loved. We grow up with our innocence in tact. What of the children who are abandoned by the ones who brought them life? Abused, neglected, disregarded. What about them? They are the ones who live life from bruised places…seeing everything through the lens of pain. Waiting for the next hurt to come. Some pursue it as this is their only reference to normalcy. Others medicate it away.

It only takes one. What if your voice could be the one to call forth the greatness in a young man or woman’s soul? Can’t you see it? When you look straight into their eyes that there is so much there? You are given a gift to gaze into the windows of the future. What do you see?

If you don’t like it, why not be that one…who took the time to listen…and teach them how to…….

– Adria R. Husband