Years ago, an old friend was traveling to Italy and asked me if there was something I wanted her to bring back. I asked her to bring me an authentic handmade journal from Italy. Something I wouldn’t find anywhere else. She brought me back a beautiful, simple leather bound journal with a purple strap. The pages are cream colored and something about it just resonates with my soul.
In 2003, I wrote a note to myself on an index card and stuck it in the front of this journal. I told myself, I was saving this journal specifically for when I loved a man. While I have a BILLION other journals of all different varieties, I wanted my journal from Italy to be reserved for love. To this day, I have not written in that journal.
I was taking the train the other day as I wrote in my morning pages journal and the subject matter was all about someone I love. In it, I wrote a letter to him. I spoke of how I was at my truest form when I was with him. This was brought on upon watching the “Limitless” movie trailer at which they ask what would you do if you could tap into your highest potential. I thought about myself and realized, I am at my highest, most perfect, honest and authentic when in his presence. Thus the reason for writing this letter about him. Its a realization I’ve known for a long time but it just keeps coming up.
Writing this letter made me think about my Italian Journal of Love. I wondered why when I know without a doubt that my soul is for him, why hadn’t I written in it about him? There’s no question of my love. It’s limitless. It occupies no specific time or space. It just is. So why aren’t the pages filled with musings and poems of him?
I told myself, I’d rectify that. As soon as I got home, I’d start filling the journal with all my love letters to him and when we saw each other again, I’d give him my Italian Journal of Love. He’d know how deep my love was and how in every moment he permeated it.
Then I thought about James and how in retrospect my love for him has grown and evolved. Why after all the years of crying and writing of loss and love in regards to him, had he not been the subject matter in my Italian Journal of Love. Why isn’t it filled with memories of him? Why haven’t I transferred my longings that exist on this blog to that journal? I thought perhaps instead of writing of Osiris, I should instead write of James and maybe one day when I was brave enough to visit his grave site, maybe I’d leave it there. Who knows?
Then I thought of Mr. Officer. And I felt pulled in two directions and I realized I had something I needed to address and acknowledge. Despite that, here was another man that changed the course of my life. A man that I loved. A man that brought me back to safety. That calmed my fears. Helped me grow the hell up. In some ways I blossomed in the midst of our love. …. in some ways. So why, after years with him, after a romance that involved last minute flights, late night motorcycle rides and fantasies explored, had I not filled pages and pages with our story?
James. Osiris. Mr. Officer. One man I loved and two men I continue to love till this day.
Why isn’t my Italian Journal of Love ripping at the seams with wear and tear from a life well lived and loved. From romances to stories to musings to inspiration.
On this train ride home, I decided I would change that. It’s 2011 and that journal is 8 years old. Love is a part of my every day and yet it has remained blank all these years. So I decided, from this day forward I would dedicate it to Osiris.
I smiled to myself as I came to this conclusion .
However being the entity that I am, something shifted. A voice inside me…perhaps my soul started to speak. “That journal is for you, Sheena.”
“That Italian Journal of Love is for you to write how you’ve come to love yourself. It’s for the musings on yourself. At some point you’ve got to stop crying about James. At some point, you’ll let Mr. Officer just be the story that he’s meant to be and no matter the fate of Osiris and Isis, you’ve got to live your life of love… for self. Fill those pages with how you fell in love with yourself. Muse on that. Because no matter the man, the job, the city, the circumstance….there is you. You’ve got to be rooted in spirit self and that is what those pages should be filled with.”
“Writing about falling in love with yourself. And if you’re not there yet, write about the journey to get there because being authentically you and living in that present moment…. that is the greatest love. That is why you are here. To be you. So be it and love every moment of it.”
Love Spirit. Love Self. Love Others.
That second iteration is just as important as the first and the third.
So today, after eight years of possessing this beautiful handmade journal from a beautiful village in Italy, I begin writing in it about love. I wrote a long letter about loving myself.
Now some of you may not even be in a place where you truly love yourself and if so, my hope is that that changes for you. I’ve written various post under the tab “Personal Growth” that document some of my thoughts on the matter from confidence to embracing yourself to acknowledging the beautiful value of being you. Read some of those post. Others have post regarding loving yourself and I’ve included them below. I suppose for me, it wasn’t a realization that I needed to love myself but it was a matter of noting that something that is so sacred to me…. this special journal from Italy…didn’t need to be reserved for someone else. That journal is for the articulations of myself. It’s similar to saving your “special” pretty panties for that “special” someone when really…all your panties should be “special” anyway and you should take joy in wearing them everyday.
I shouldn’t reserve the best of me for someone else. The best of me is first, for me.
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