After helping my feathered friend back outside, watching her effortlessly fly to a nearby tree in my backyard, I ran upstairs to get ready for my standing date with a friend. A tall, dark and handsome friend at that! Thanks to daylight savings, we'll be taking those sunset walks again in the next month or so. When we're together, we often see things like red tails and deer. In fact, on our very first walk, a doe and a young stag crossed our path. Right after that, we saw a car that had "1616" on the license plate. My friend turned to me and said, "What do those numbers mean?"
"It means there are two people who will awaken through love...and in the end, it will add up to a miracle."
We looked at each other and smiled. Our walks got a little longer after that.
When I see a red tail--like the beautiful girl who visited me yesterday--it's a reminder to listen to my instincts. Whatever I'm thinking of in that moment, it's something I need to pay more attention to. Love is oft on my mind...and, of course, in my books. I create the realities I'd like to see in the world with my pen. And I'm filling that world with joy, with bliss, with happiness, and lots and lots of love. Good people find one another instead of what really happens--a good person finds a user, an abuser, a destroyer. It's more and more common in our globalized society, where, as I famously first said on this very blog years ago, "Technology makes it easy to be an asshole."
All too often, we glide on the thermals of life, never really getting involved in the fray below. Things like social media make that distance even easier, but after nearly a year of standing dates and sunset walks, I'm wondering if technology is just the newest excuse for us to not get involved with real people in real time. It's easy to artificially meet, greet, and then, like my feathered friend, quietly retreat to a hidden branch where we can perch and observe, keeping a safe distance. By the way, that's called cyberstalking and it's creepy as fuck. Is that what we really want? To become a generation of jeepers-creepers, stalkers and peepers???
Thanks, but no thanks. For the record, no one gets a second chance at hurting smart people, confident people, attractive people, and/or successful people again. If you're insecure, petty, vindictive, narcissistic, and/or controlling, you won't be able to maintain any healthy relationships, let alone rekindle a relationship you previously sabotaged. Self-sabotage is what happens when fear and insecurity drown out reason. Hawks don't have time for insecurities. Survival is what matters most. It's interesting to note then, that part of a hawk's survival instincts include being monogamous, mating for life and sharing responsibility for their eggs and young. Seems humans, with our "big" brains, opposable thumbs and technological "advancements," can't seem to figure out what is basic instinct to creatures with far less cortical neurons in their brain structures, no fingers at all and no access to technology of any kind.
Real commitment isn't a diamond ring--it's being a real friend in the real world, and being there without fail. It means valuing a person more than you value fleeting, opportunistic pleasure. Respecting the person you supposedly care about. And, respecting yourself. Commitment means recognizing another's needs without sacrificing your own, or requiring that others make sacrifices for you. That kind of friendship doesn't happen in a day, a week, a month, or even six months. You have to take the time to make the time in order to really get to know another human being. You have to consistently care. Hold yourself accountable. I think that's the missing piece today when it comes to relationships of all shapes and sizes. That, and communication.
Talking to each other is important. But spending time together in the real world is even more so. Work out together at the gym. Go on hikes in the sunshine. Take sunset strolls, maybe even end up at the local ice cream shop. Watch people. Talk about the stars. Look up at the moon. Ask about family, friends, dreams, goals, and...do you wanna Netflix and chill on Friday night? "Santa Clarita Diet" drops this weekend...yum!
Watching my hawk yesterday was like looking in the mirror. She unwittingly flew into a social situation where she could have been trapped, maybe gotten hurt, or even died. The same thing happened to me four years ago. Having courage is like that. Dangerous. Luckily for my red tail, she didn't fly into just any house--she found me. Within minutes, she was safely out and doing what she loves again. She and I have known each other for a very long time now. She trusts me--at least as much as any wild hawk can trust a human. I trust her, too. It's a big part of our relationship. Seems to me it should be that way with people, too.
My hawk and I don't use technology to communicate or show each other respect, care and commitment. We have to physically be present with one another. She's flown down to me before--but always outside. A low tree branch. This was the first time she perched next to me in my house. That was only possible because of our relationship--the one we built together over time. Not through phone calls, texts, video chatting, and social media interactions. We have spent real time with one another in the real world. We've shown each other consistent care and respect. That's why miracles can happen. Miracles like a hawk flying into my house to sit next to me. Check in, as it were.
Commitment is cumulative. So is intimacy.
I used to write about second chances in love (and friendship), but in reality, we only ever get one. If I ever did anything to break the hawk's trust, she'd find a new territory. I'd no longer be blessed by her presence, her beauty, or, her friendship. And, I've lived long enough to understand that my relationship with this particular red tail is nothing short of miraculous. But I'm willing to work for my miracles. Recognizing a good thing when you see it isn't enough to make someone worthy of a miracle--you also have to be willing to put in the effort in order to maintain it. That's how I measure my worth. My value. Which in turn, informs my purpose, Being able to maintain relationships is the key to feeling connected, or if you prefer, having hope. And, faith. In yourself and others. Whether friend or fowl....
It's funny but, in the last few months, my thoughts have only been centered on the future. Quite a liberating sensation, as if I gave myself wings to rise above the distractions that kept me from moving my life forward. Kept me from healing, too. My wish for each and every good soul on our planet is for you to be free to fly, free to love, free to feel, and free to engage with those who consistently treat you with respect and care. Not online. Not through a screen or speaker. But in real time and in the real world.
True intimacy and connection come from real commitment--it is the only way for any of us to spread our wings and not only fly, but soar toward the bright blue skies of success in both love and life.