Tuesday, June 6, 2023


The truth of the matter is, that well worn section of traditional wedding vows was not a part of ours.

And while it was not vowed it has certainly been true.

On June 7th, 2010, I did something I never dreamed I would be legally allowed to do.

I got married.

Now, at the time I had to go to Massachusetts to do so, but I legally married a man as unlikely a choice as was the likelihood of being able to do so. We legally wed in the pergola at the center of the small town that my husband grew up in. His elderly father and several members of his family looked on as a justice of the peace officiated our simple ceremony. We had added a space to speak our own vows to each other, but the officiant forgot so we were hitched without those. The next month we had a larger though not legal spiritual ceremony in our home state of Florida. We were able to speak our vows to each other at that observance. It remains the most memorable part of our service for me. It was not legally binding. But it was beautiful and meaningful and witnessed by many of our closest friends.

And we did not vow “for better or for worse.”

As I type this missive the day prior to our thirteenth anniversary I reflect upon the years and experiences we have faced together. There have been wonderful times for sure. There have been several profound changes and challenges. There have been better times, and there have been times that seemed to be for worse. Losses. Life threatening illnesses. Career changes and endings and new beginnings. The best of both of us has been called forth. And truth be told, so has the worst. As strained as we have felt at times there has never been a moment that we questioned the continuation of our union.

While we did not speak the other oft repeated vow “till death do us part” has never been in question.

Donald has been for me a clear and vital part of my spiritual unfolding. I knew from the beginning that it was a sacred appointment. I guess all our connections are. Yet there are some that are clearly part of our Souls emergence. A coming together for the purpose of pattern resolution and alchemical growth. There are people we meet that we deeply know will lead us to an advancement of our earth curriculum.

Donald has and continues to be that for me.

And now, as many of my readers know, we face together the neurological disorder that is happening in Donald’s brain and most certainly in my heart. As the condition worsens, I am called to become better at how I manage our lives, and everything related to being a fulltime caregiver. While I had no inkling in that Massachusetts pergola that this would be our future here it is. That was our wedding, and this is our marriage.

I did not consciously choose this. Yet now I find myself choosing how to deal with it on a daily and even momently basis. I choose to become better at how I respond and how I relate. I choose to forgive myself when I am thrown into reaction, and skillful relating seems unavailable. I choose to stay true to the wholeness of me, that I may be true to the wholeness of my husband.

And he is still my husband. I love him as he was. And I love him as he is.

There are ways in which he is not the man that I married. Yet I also know that the same is true for him. I am not the same. Illness, loss, and circumstance have changed me. Not that I am worse. I do not frame the changes in that way. Nor do I frame the changes in Donald as a worsening of who he is. The same kind, gentle, sensitive man is here with me. His physicality is greatly affected for sure. There is cognitive decline. But there is also that smile. The occasionally witty retort. The adoring gazes. Even the rascal-like innuendos. All beautiful constancies of the man to whom I said I do. And to who I will always say I do.

Candidly I have some ugly moments these days. And some kind and skillful ones as well. I am better and stronger spiritually than ever before. Though it seems illogical somehow worsening times have always made me better. More compassionate. Merciful. Spacious. Fortuitous. These thirteen years have made me a better man. Even though in ways I am facing the worst of times.

So, we did not say “for better or for worse” on that wedding day thirteen years ago.

Nor did we say, “till death do us part.”

And yet both are true in vital, practical ways. My marriage is a high spiritual practice. It is a workshop in loving more and judging less. It is a PhD in how to be better in the worst of times. It is a gymnasium in self-care so that I may better care for him.

For better or for worse, Donald. Until death do we part.

Happy Anniversary, my love. I am more because we are.

I do. And I always will.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


“That’s just your perception.”

Dismissal landing.


Well, yeah.

Connection interrupted.

I had shared something from a deeper part of me when the above retort was delivered in reaction. I use the word reaction purposefully as it did not feel like a response. It felt as if the person with whom I was sharing could not or chose not to find an internal place that would open to fully receive what I was sharing.

Perhaps they could not access a file into which they could place my communication. Perhaps it was too tender a piece of my heart to deal with in that moment. Perhaps it was too dissonant with their own perceptual network. Whatever the reason it was dismissed with the wave of a psycho-spiritual truism.

“That’s just your perception.”

It dismissed what I had shared. It distanced communicator and receiver. And it discounted me and my current experience. The connection was severed, at least in that moment.

Now let me be clear that it indeed is always my perception that I am dealing with and seeing through. Everything is received and processed from the level of perception. The dynamic relationship between perception and projection is a vital part of awakening consciousness. Awakening does not involve ridding us of perception. Awakening involves knowing what our perceptual system is, and how we are applying it in any given moment. That is what frees us from projecting out our disowned perceptions, which is a sure way to block healing and strain relations.

As we honestly share our perceptions in a safe and compassionate space, we begin to create more and more space between perception and the witness of perceptions. We give voice to them as a way of confessing what we are experiencing. How they are received and listened to is crucial to the healing process. Dismissing, discounting, distancing never has a healing affect. Neither do psycho-spiritual truisms. Listening from a space that recognizes and embraces perception as an evolutionary dynamic engages both communicator and listener in a holy space of union and transformation.

I write this not to judge, criticize, or condemn the deliverer of the admonition.

I write this in gratitude that my awareness and dedication to full and present attention and listening has been made deeper as a result of the interaction. I am more committed than ever to knowing that everything that anyone shares with me is indeed that person’s perception. My commitment is to listen in such a way that let’s people know that their perceptions matter to me. Regardless of what I think about what they are sharing, that they are sharing is what is most important. I dedicate myself to staying acutely aware that I am listening to their perceptions through my own perceptual lens. There is always bias. Being aware of that creates freedom in my heart and spaciousness in my mind. That freedom and spaciousness is what I offer as I listen and stay present.

Connection matters more to me than perception.

Yet we cannot remove perception from connection. It is all a part of our ever-evolving expansion of learning to grow in acceptance, honor, dignity, compassion, and love. Your perceptions have a place in my heart because you have a place in my heart. They may indeed be “just your perceptions” but they are a vital part of you. And I don’t want you to be anything other than “just you.” Perceptions and all.

I have come to recognize and embrace that my subject matter and writings have a somewhat limited appeal. That is, of course, just my perception. It is supported, however, by empirical evidence. So, whether you think this applies to you or not I invite you to listen carefully and dig deeply. Look for ways you may not receive people at their own perceptual level. Look for how you might apply dismissive labels. Look squarely at reactions that may create a disconnect, if only for a moment.

We are here in the realm of story. Of perception. We all project onto others at times. It is how we live and grow. And it is a high and holy opportunity to support each other in that growth. You don’t do that by dismissing another’s experience. No matter how misguided you think it is. Afterall, that is just your perception.

Perception and intimacy are not mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand. Heart to heart. I will intimately listen to your perceptions because you matter to me. All of you matters to me.

And because you matter, I write and share my experience. I understand it is just my experience. I understand that you may or may not even read it. If you do, you will read through your own perceptual lens. Through your own bias. And that matters to me too.

But then, it’s just my perception.