Eight months. It’s been eight long months since last I wrote you, and even then the posts have been about the crazyscary aspects of The Job, and very little about the soul. Essays from times in the recent past have focused on the hard journey towards love (like these old chestnuts herehere and here), letting go of expectation and ego, and finally authentic acceptance of reality. And in that pursuit, in that time spent with the one your heart yearns for, we often forget how to be authentic to our own selves. We neglect our own souls for an idea of what the heart wants, ignoring all those signs along the road that may signify two people often have two very different concepts of what they want, what they need and where their own heart lies.

Hope, expectation, trust and vulnerability; these words are so loaded with potential, dangerous and thrilling all at once. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of this is when we assign another responsibility for those emotions, for what they seek isn’t always in alignment with what your soul craves. It’s so easy to slip back into a routine of allowing your self-view to be defined by how others see you (not to say delusional flights of self-image fancy are exactly healthy, that is the birthplace of the kind of narcissistic tyranny for which my own father was infamous). Not so easy is to have the conviction when you look in the mirror that you are worth so much more than you might suspect.

So? Have hope, but mostly have hope in yourself that you’re on a worthy journey. Let your expectations go mute, especially in others, for that’s a path to disappointment, and unfair to others in your world; instead I’ll keep the expectation that tomorrow I’ll learn a little more than I did today. I must hold the expectation that I’ll deliver for my boys my very best effort on all fronts. Whether someone decides to trust you or otherwise, choose to trust others, and more importantly trust your own self. It’s scary to trust, fucking horrifying really, but scarier still is to allow yourself to grow cold out there in the bitter winds of distrust. And vulnerability? How else can you learn what you’re capable of if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable, alive and able to experience, grow and love?

I can’t dictate the direction the road takes, but at the end of the day I can learn from every twist and turn. I can choose to trust, I can choose to hope and I can choose to seek authentic experiences in this life, inclusive of all the chaos and creative and crazy that is this journey. I’ve missed writing for you and for me, grateful that deep within there’s a voice yearning to be heard. As we barrel towards the holidays, rather than turn inward to past hurts and a sense of chilly solitude, I look forward to embracing whatever reality presents itself. No one can get the best of you if you give it away willingly; as the cold months ahead begin their relentless countdown to darkness, long may our souls burn fiercely with the hope of brighter days.