Slow Dancing with Love

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Before I begin to let my mind loose on you, I must admit I’m a bit intimidated about this subject-

The painful, longing, desperate craving for a romantic relationship when you’re not necessarily ready for one.

Warning: Marija was hurt in the making of this new perspective. Proceed at your own risk. 

I grew up in a home of two adoring parents and an older brother. Quite a normal household, nothing too significant on the daily basis within my curious and imaginative mind. Everyday started out as the last one did, I guess you could say I was just like any other little girl who liked to dream.
After I grew up a bit, my momma would tell me stories about how alive and compassionate my heart was (and is) and I believed her. I never really tried to hide the fact that I had a special talent for being wildly in love with the world around me. I remember distinctively as a young girl staring at strangers faces for minutes at a time just to receive attention from their smiling faces (or frowning faces) and to give them one in return. I thought people were fascinating, the world around me was detailed and every turn was a brand new wonderland for me to wander. To me that included boys. In my little mind, boys=friends, ALWAYS, no exceptions.
Suddenly I’m in a little christian private school in eighth grade. Boys did no longer = friends.
I warmed to the idea of “being in love” quicker than my new teacher could introduce me to the class.

(Rest in peace, marija.)

My compassionate heart overtook my entire persona and turned it into something that was no longer a pure and positive place given to me. I was now using my sensitivity to give my being to someone else emotionally-wanting to love with my entire soul. (uh oh we already KNOW where this is going.) I fell so hard in love with this kid that I accepted love as something not returned. I spent hours dreaming up a facade of a relationship, even when I truly had no idea what a successful and loving relationship should look like.
After a couple years of drowning in my sorrow I fell into love with another dangerous person of sorts-self love.
The whole aspect of taking care of yourself and giving to yourself and spending time with yourself was just coming to the top of the poll in media and my mind drifted from reliance on one being to the next. I started to parade myself in a healthy lifestyle, clothing, secluded time with my inner thoughts, sometimes even locking myself in my car or room with candles hours on end just to give love to myself. Any tip or trick on self love out there you bet I tried it.
So, like anything you spend significant amount of time with in your mind, I fell in love with myself.
I liked to think that being in love with myself instead of another person was fulfilling me because I was practicing “fifty fulfilling tips for self-love.” I walked with my head high because I believed I had something most people didn’t, that my love for myself would get me love from others. My mindset was “I don’t need people to love me when I can love myself.”  It seemed like my only option. I thought of it then as fighting my battle of relentlessly falling for “the wrong guy” or “healing myself” when I was only reacting to the pain I put myself through when the craving for love wasn’t returned.
Through this I became selfish. Everything I did was for my own benefit, and if I didn’t want to do it I hadn’t another thought in my mind other than to put up a fight to do what I wanted to do. I put the blame on “knowing myself” well enough to decide whether or not who I was could be satisfied by whatever choice I was dealing with.
The self-love journey I went on wasn’t all negative. I did learn the importance of caring for yourself, I just had a twisted idea of WHY we should care for ourselves.
I learned how to see beauty in everyday life again. I learned the importance of positivity.
That’s really where it all began.
I started to see God in things. He started to whisper to me when I was thought to be at the highest and “happiest” place in my life. God, being only abundant in positive attributes and characteristics, was able to reach me when I began to overcome the negativity- that comes from the character of the enemy-without even realizing it. Yet, I still didn’t focus on that just yet.

I began to grow slowly closer to God in small ways, but (as much as I hated to admit it) He wasn’t my focus. Any boy that would enter the picture, I instantly laid my focus on him. Distracted from self-love, God love, family love, any love. Broken again by the unfulfillment of receiving less than I gave.

I was slow dancing with partners that didn’t escort me to the ball. 

I continued this cycle for years. Getting “healing” from myself, friends, sometimes family. Falling in love and giving all my focus to the boy, and breaking down. Shards of me scattered on the pathway I kept walking upon. While walking on this pathway I would revisit my relationship with God every now and then. The more boys that failed in the attempt to enter my life the closer God was bringing me to him, oddly enough. He was transforming my aspired self-love to be more selfless.
The final attempt was brief but significant to my story. I went into it with the idea of giving all the patience and God-given wisdom that I could, talking to God about all of the ways I wanted to feel and wanted to be for this boy.  Asking him to bless the relationship while I took it slow. I so badly wanted God’s guidance but I was so used to my own that I wasn’t fully letting Him take over. It was difficult to let Him when I wasn’t spending time with Him enough to hear what He was telling me. Well, as it turned out, God’s not going to bless something that was never in his plan in the first place. SO as you guessed, there went another one.
This time though, my perspective drastically changed. I finally realized my purpose was never going to be a man. The amount of love I felt in return did not determine my worth. If anything is distracting from the source of Love Himself, there is no real love with meaning in it.

I stopped entertaining the idea of romance on earth.

I started giving my time to romance with Jesus.

I mean, I literally pretended He was in front of me on the picnic blanket in the most romantic spot I had found in my small town, as I read stories and talked aloud to him and listened to music. I imagined his hand in mind as I walked into a dangerous situation (emotionally or physically.) I imagined my head on his chest as I fell asleep. I imagined His voice as he spoke “good morning” through the rays of sun. I began to imagine myself dating Jesus. Slowly, I began a routine of daily chats with Him. As many words of His as I could focus on, listening, being quiet, and looking for any way I could to feel him there with me. I began to fall in love with Christ.
Once I allowed God to catch my breathe, and let him love me…

I healed.

All the years of a routinely heartbreak, going numb to the facade of what an earthy relationship should look like. Falling in love with ideas on earth and letting the words be handed to me by the enemy, who then shoved negativity and self doubt down my throat. Every blinded direction I was lead into by my own emotions and feelings brought me to the same unsatisfied result. Even in the highest point I thought I reached in my life I still felt lonely, I still knew that broken pieces of me were still scattered back behind me somewhere-I accepted they were parts I couldn’t go back for. Everything came to the same meaningless dead-end when I decided “I’ll do it myself.” Nothing had meaning without the presence of Christ when I thought long enough about it, so I didn’t think because it was “easier.” I tried so profoundly to heal on my own, but I couldn’t.

He was there all along. The one love who created love itself. The only love that is pure and full and real. The only love you never EVER have to work for. The only love that was given to you before it was received. The only love you can really feel to its fullest. The only love that is so strong it becomes passion, it becomes furious, it becomes unexplainable. The only love that’s effortless. The only love that makes your heart sing everlasting and you can trust it will forever stay. The only one who will never leave you. He wakes up thinking about me, he goes to bed with me on his mind. He would trade creation for me. He was always behind me waiting for me to turn around and fall before Him, because I can’t fall in love in purity without first falling before Him. The only love that allows me to love others enough to make them feel worthy of it. He loves all of us in that way-not “all of us” but YOU and ME, that way. His love for you and I is personal, it’s close, it’s endearing, it’s forever, it’s real. In returning to Christ, the pieces I had left behind me were replaced by-not new pieces- but a whole new heart. This time, I’m giving everything to Him, and not once can the enemy wound me enough to leak love again. This time, the Lord will fill me with love enough that I will overflow with it.

In my glowing silver gown, I turned away from the fill-in dance partners to find myself face-to-face with the one who escorted me to the ball. I curtsy low before Him, and as I lift my eyes to meet his, my palms rest in the softness of His, and we begin to dance to the slowest, most admirable song. The longer we dance, the closer I bring myself to Him. With every centimeter closer, the easier it becomes to follow His lead. 

sincerely, mar

The Secret to Love

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———-

How do you become brave enough to give love to others, unashamed of the aftermath, without a second thought of whether they deserve it or not?

I’m going to tell you this right now-
go ask someone else.

When it comes to loving others around me I can say what I want and pretend as much as I please but inside I’m HORRIBLY afraid of human connection (funny considering that’s the thing I most crave-more on that later.)
The very thought, as a raging introvert, of a group of people I don’t know makes me want to retreat into a blanket-burrito in the safest corner of my room. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t ask for this…I would love to be as exuberant as my alter-ego (say hi, Callisto) in any scenario involving new people. It’s not that I have difficulty loving people, it’s that I don’t know how to show it.
The more I think about this aspect of myself, the more I start to realize where my fear of human interaction comes from. I crave human connection more than I crave the very element on this earth that keeps me alive. Unfortunately, that’s in competition with my craving for love, and fear of not receiving it in return.
The thought that my attempts to spread the part of me that wants to love relentlessly, will possibly be misinterpreted and rejected, haunts me until I recline back to hide alone instead, then excusing it as “self-love.” Time and time again I get involved with my own mind and its tug of opposites that I fail to remember the most vital fact on this earth when it comes to coinciding with each other.

Love is who we ARE. We breathe it, we see it everywhere, we long for it, we dream about it, and hell, we sometimes are even willing to put ourselves into every kind of pain to get it. But most importantly, we have the power to BECOME vessels of love. Each and every person is thirsty to be loved, but each of us restrains from giving it.
If we’re all made of love, we need love. If we need love, we all have love to give. We’re so afraid of giving love because of the fear of not receiving it. We’re afraid of not receiving it because of the pain of not feeling loved. If we don’t feel loved, we don’t feel significant. If we don’t feel significant, we don’t have purpose. In order to survive this life, we need to feel as though we have purpose.

When you give love, you are a part in saving someones life.

It seems pretty obvious that we should share what we’ve been given, especially knowing the pain of love not being given to ourselves. Giving love is never as hard as we expect it to be either (I know some of you might disagree with me, but even your rotten aunt Janet who stole your pie on thanksgiving needs love too.) Love can exist in the simplest moments of kindness, such as a smile, eye-contact, or even being brave enough to start a conversation with someone.

So what’s the secret to love?

The realization that we are reflections of each other, and we’re so much more similar than we think (yes that boy picking his nose over there who’s 10+ years younger than you is just.like.you.)
We’re gross and awkward and insecure and broken and SO desperate to be loved.
Basically what I’m saying is-don’t let your fear control what you can give to others. If you have the power to give to someone-DO IT. It’s vital to our existence. Love binds us together more than we realize.
Yes yes, even you introverts out there who are in the same situation as I am-we can’t be burritos forever.

Over and out my lovers.
Sincerely, mar

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P.S: Shout-out to my lovely new friend, Tirzah, pictured above (left) who I just got to know over a spontaneous decision of hers to join me on my adventure to Italy recently. Tune in for more news on that my friends, try to contain your excitement as much as I’m attempting too.

misconceptions

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i used to call the tears that sunk into my pores, unfiltered and dirty emotion.

i used to call the overwhelming need to breathe a clearer air, tangled and selfish ambition.

i used to call my hearts whisper for those who my soul had cried for, a sound too loud that should be silenced.

and now, i call her wild restless movement…

nothing but pure and abundant

PASSION.

untangle

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i want to go back to when life was just about discovering the next part of myself…it’s seems within the growth, i have lost the core of my being. the more i push myself to give the aspects of me that i find my identity in, the more i feel stagnant. day to day, life doesn’t seem as much as a dream as it used to, and there must be something i can do to fix it. i never knew it was possible to overwork my passions, yet here i am. fighting for the validation of other successful artists.
i’m forgetting a key ingredient in this recipe though…
art was never about validation, it’s about putting ME into an image, into graphite and ink on paper, into paint, into color. every hair on my head and every pore in my skin. my own emotion and my connection to myself and everyone else just happens to be there. art is created in the rawest form when it’s coming from my soul without distraction, worry, or a clouded judgment i put on myself. i need to rediscover what it’s like to be home inside my creativity. i miss it more than i could ever try to explain in words. there is nothing more beautiful about art that it’s divine mistakes that defy that definition itself. mistake after mistake until it resides in perfection. no more formats, correctly combined colors, extra thoughts about “did i word this right” or “is this the right stroke of paint.” how will i ever truly inspire without letting my incomparable spiderweb of a mind untangle itself before those who are willing to admire it?

caretaker

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i trail the lanes

of a greenhouse.

caressing the limbs of the living in hopes it will shed its life onto mine.

in hopes it will fulfill me with the energy

i once was known to have.

they reached out to me, so gentle and soft.

never intending to overgrow or invade the space of others like them,

but rather coincide with unity.

every atom within them glows.

i admire hands that have taken care of the vibrant shades of brilliance these seeds have grown into, and the even larger hands that created the seeds to begin with.

the sun is among the caretakers wandering the organized mess within these dirty windows. oh

the sun, my lover.

it didn’t take me long

to know you were the one for me

you were like that crush i had in middle school.

no, i never directly talked to him

or looked him in the eye

but i was always aware of his presence and that was enough to know,

i wanted him.

the recharging energy

radiating love and warmth to everyone he was near.

i want to chase you,

until the end of time.

even if you will never chase me back i could never get to tired of feeling how you make me feel.

you never have to get love back to really be in love

but

i do think you love me

i can hear you say it

through the bright pinks and oranges when you say goodnight and good morning.

i can feel it when you’re at your most intense moments,

you almost seem angry.

but, i know you’re just passionate,

desperate to give life.

i want to run away with you.

you are day

and you are light.

you have never left me

even though you pretend you disappear for a while you are only hiding behind the moon.

drawing me in,

lifting my chin,

going in for a kiss.

i’ve never tasted lips sweeter than yours.

mine are like bees to your honeycomb and i recharge from your electricity.

oh, the sun, my lover. you give life to the plants and you give life to me.

natural selection

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The essence of music so loud

it’s like it’s the beat of your own heart,

and in a way

it is.

it seems to be keeping you alive in that moment.

in that two or three hours

you forget about what it is to grow up.

you forget about anything bad

or anything sour,

it’s just the music reflecting off of itself

combined with the voices of the crowd

and the faint smell of sweat and devotion.

and all you remember,

if anything at all,

is all the good memories,

the good inspiration,

new ideas.

you lose yourself in that room

and the blue and orange florescent lights hypnotize you.

this is the only place where no one cares if you intrude in their personal space

or pull their hair on accident or knock elbows

because everyone

IS everyone’s own personal space.

a space where personal doesn’t exist

because everyone is connected here.

this is the place where you can be THAT crowded

and still feel like the only one in the room.

your feet hurt and you don’t care, the air would normally smell polluted but for some odd reason it’s not a awful smell anymore. things just make sense.

strangers feel like people you’ve known your entire life.

all of this in a couple hours and thirty-five dollars,

and there is hours and hours more.

knowing this exists,

i’d much rather spend my small amount of money

on experience.

the hum of the speakers grow louder and louder.

my hands begin to trace my cool skin

glinting with sweat.

i feel the most beautiful when i’m dancing.

the kind of natural beauty you only get to grasp every now and then

when i tune into just the rhythm and how every note works together.

purity and passion.

my chin lifts,

and i smile.

my hair falling in waves behind my back.

my arms lift,

my hips sway,

forgetting where i am,

who i’m with.

the lights inside my eyelids remind me just enough im still here

and that’s all i need.

on the top of the world,

i raise my arms

and i scream

“i will never grow up!”

and the rest of the crowd seems to be echoing me.

the band is the rhythm

that ties us together

making us all

a family.

this is what it’s like to be home.

vanquishing sea salt

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as i lay within the sea salt waves

every atom of myself and it

interlaced

i remember once

they looked my age

at seventeen

in feet.

to what i defined

the dark blue habitation to creatures with teeth.

but now i submerge myself underneath

the rhythm of the crash

that has begun to soothe me.

i become the bridge

to the chorus

it’s creating

building up to the pull back

and crash.

losing myself,

creating a melody.

allowing myself

to sink between the ins and the outs

but never sinking into the timidity

balancing the salt in my body

with the salt in its own

accepting its intensity,

acknowledging

it’s presence.

granting it the push and the pulls

and from the fear

i composed a home.

-mleilynn

hallucinating

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i get stuck thinking there are microscopic pieces of me in places i haven’t been, and in things i don’t have. like there are particles of me i’m looking for, in the form of dust floating aimlessly ahead of me somewhere.

the sparks i feel trick me into thinking i need something tangible to be happier.-

i’m not going to find myself in scenes meant for post cards or movies. i’m not going to find happiness in the greenery and the warm air. happiness comes from something imponderable. it comes from within the canals of my mind that i often leave untouched.- connecting myself with knowledge of the ability to control my own mind and making my own decisions about how i can feel and what i can find out of life, authorizes me to not only see particles of myself floating right in front of me but entire fragments everywhere i step.

i can finally begin to catch a glimpse of the pure allurement that those exact diverse places and new things have to offer me that i would’ve been blind to trying to search for elements of me that were never there to begin with.- i can enter on an epic vicissitude

old love

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where old love grows

take me there

even when the shadows cover up the vibrancy of the burning passion

i’ll still know it’s there

i’ll leave it to rest

and water it until the morning sunlight hits it once again

-like the sun, inspiration and passion come and go-

-this does not mean we shut the shades-

……

it’s effortless to give up on what you love the most because you don’t “feel it” anymore. being IN love with something is the emotional high of love itself. its really a glorious thing. it’s the butterflies and the giggles and the (what seems to be) endless passion. that’s why we confuse it so much with love itself. but what happens when that goes away? we release it from ourselves, and search for it again elsewhere, constantly looking for that “high” in something or someone else. we find out it wasn’t love at all because it didn’t stay. what we forget is this pattern of feeling is only temporary joy. you’ll end up going sunrises and sunsets missing the raw version of love. the love that only comes when you’re past that feeling. you can’t expect a feeling to last in its full intensity. whatever you think true love is, it’s always, ALWAYS consistent. it will always stay, it’s deeper than a feeling, and it is selfless. think of it as this: “the thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away once you really go and live there. does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not live in that beautiful place? it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction.”

exhale

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recently, i had the opportunity to join some friends in a yoga class at hours before the sun rose, and one thing the instructor said stood out to me. “nothing left to do, nothing more to be.” it got me wondering how easily it is to get caught up in our tasks, our lives, even our own goals. always onto the next thing we have to get done, or in my case the next thing i want to become and fix. even in that place where i have time, the right atmosphere, and someone outside of myself telling me where to focus my attention i seem to draw back into my railroad mind. for a moment i was following her directions on where to move my body as merely a list of instructions, that i began to tune out the sound of her voice and instead indulge in my own thoughts and tasks once again. i established a cloud of judgment upon myself so large i was missing the point. she said that line and i clutched the present again. each inhale and exhale were just that. each exuberant movement i made after those words were intentional and there was truly nothing left to do. there was nothing left to be. my mind was cleansed from fixes and fulfillment. in moments when i find rest between the constant search for becoming something else, i am the most whole. i stand high and tall even when i appear to be walking alone into nothing, but i am not. nothing is good sometimes. nothing has the proficiency to become purification.