September 10, 2013

Things I would like to hear from you when you are afraid.

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“Any confusion you experience has within it the essence of wisdom automatically. So as soon as you detect confusion, it is the beginning of some kind of message. At least you are able to see your confusion, which is very hard. Ordinarily people do not see their confusion at all, so by recognizing your confusion, you are already at quite an advanced level. So you shouldn’t feel bad about that; you should feel good about it.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa

I would like to hear from you when you are confused.

Love can survive fear if acknowledged.

Love can survive fear only if acknowledged.

Things are not easy, always. A love affair is not imagination. It is the vicissitudes of daily life. It is two lifestreams intermingling.

I would like to hear you give voice in the hard times—then I can know this is a river of true love, and not merely a shallow standing pool, a game.

Relationships—love—is not fantasy, it is bricks and mortar. It is earth. But it is fantasy, too. It is heaven: dreams and hormones and the pleasure in biology and sudden laughter.

It is the rub between the two that creates sparks: earth, heaven.

It is communication that is water that cools those sparks, and gets us through the fear of loss, the difficult times, the simple arguments over dishes or the serious arguments over ethics.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela


Read the first, Things I would like to do with you in the Woods, first.

Read the second, Things I would like to do with you this Evening, second.

Read the third, Things I would like to Remember about our day in Vermont, third.

Read the fourth, Things I would like to do with you in Time, fourth.

Read the fifth, Things I Would Like to do with You Before I Lose You, fifth.

This is the sixth. Read the seventh, Things I would like to say to you without you Knowing.



I would like to communicate with you about Difficult Things.

We have connected.

I would like to love you if that is how it is. I would like to honor this connection with mutual openness.

Or, I would like to lose you if that is how it is. I would not like to dishonor our connection with a lack of communication about the confusing things.

Connection is a rare spark, a cause for joy. I would not like to lose said spark because of your inability to communicate about your fear.

I learned when young that if confused I should be open about it, and it will get better.

And yet sometimes I forget this lesson: I collapse into insecurity, and if unopened it can become depression. When I can not be charming, when I can not be who you or others think I am, I am embarrassed.

It is our task to talk when we would hide. We can talk confusion, we do not have to wait for clarity.

I would like to honor our fear by tending to it. When gripped by confusion do not shut down: rather, talk it out.

It is a clumsy, simple tactic that works every time: by giving voice to that which I do not understand, my confusion gains sanity instead of calcifying into fear—fear, of fear.

If you are afraid, come here and I will hold you. Or go away, go for a walk and hold yourself sweetly.

I would like to never resent your fear—if communicated. Rather: I would like to admire you for acknowledging your hesitation. There are reasons for it that I can not yet know. And I would like to care if you will let me see.

I would like to care more about you than about my feelings for you.


Whatever occurs in the confused mind
is regarded as workable.
It is a fearless proclamation;
the Lion’s Roar.
~ Chögyam Trungpa


Oh, I would not like this to be wonderful only to see it collapse only because of broken communication. If we are not right for one another or the timing is not right and we can not make it right, that is that. Love is the hardest sport. Love is only available to those willing to be continually brave in weakness.

Can you be brave?

Say we have one wonderful night: say we bicycle far off together, to a wedding dinner with many ladies and gentlemen outside on a green farm. And say we laugh and dine at a white table amongst many white tables set beneath the gathering stars of a night that fast turns the green farm dark blue. And say you are elegant, and I will undress your elegance. But first in candlelight we talk with mentors and parents of friends and and then dance, dance, silly, enthusiastic, confident. The mosquitoes come out, hungry, we kiss and hold and talk and laugh, lying in the grass beneath the cool bushes lining the dark periphery of the bright tent.

It is an honor to know you.

But then say the next day you cancel our plans for our first dinner date without telling me. This is a basic courtesy we extend to friends. And then say we gather that night with friends and you are with a gentleman and you sit over there and it is all an affront served cold. I do not revel in heated jealousy and I will soon be cooly fine with this loss of our warmth of the night before. Perhaps you slept badly and you are just out of a long uneven relationship and you are not ready to unfold your wings. I do not know and can not since you do not tell me.

“Don’t say one thing then do another. Make your words speak the truth of your heart, else be silent and let your acts reveal it. In all things be…. yourself and you will be good for me. For my perception goes beyond the hollow emptiness of words, and witnesses every act your conscience. Your unspoken thoughts ring loudly in my eyes like a bell clear when true, and dull when false. I cannot speak the word…for I am the word…and I will not wed my future to a child, or a fool. ” ~ Almoustine 

And so I would like to fold my wings closed against your heart. Such cowardliness is for children, though children have an excuse.

I would like to breathe out into the rain and lightning night as I bicycle away from you. I have made friends with myself, so I do not often fear loneliness. I am fine with disrespect, for my capacity to cease to care is contextualized by my good friend’s repeated advice over the years

“If she does not communicate, forget her, you deserve better.”

Say, I would like to forget you.


“Happiness is not a goal; it’s a byproduct.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


I would like to love my life and help you to love yours. Love is not selfish love but rather caring for another, which means we help to nurture our fundamental kindness.

I would like to love fully.

That day may be far off but I do not think it is for I want to name twelve noble children foolish things like Margaret and Huckleberry and Winslow and Whitman and Washington and Kerouac (Cary, for short) and Roosevelt (Rose) and Thoreau and Sargent and…

And I would like to love someone who would like to communicate.

And I would like to love someone who would like to communicate.

I would not like to, say, call or text or email or message you and not hear back, or hear back a week later, or a day later. I would not like to play games. I would not like to ask you out, and never be asked out. I would not like to treat, and never be treated.

I would like us to not play games, but rather to be simply honest.

“To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.” 
~ Charles Dickens

Love is not one-way: that is for boyish Mad Men and bored Housewives, and I admire neither.

If you are busy, take your time: space is yours and I will not take it from you, and space is mine and I will not give it up for you. But: if you play games with communication, like old climbing rope my affection for you will fray.

Loneliness is the salve for love, lost, and this antidote comes conveniently after misuse. I would not like to date a girl.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin


I would like to love and be loved by a deeply sane human, brave enough to surf fear and voice it messily.

I am ready for love; I have seen many shadows of it, shadows so weak they can not block the sun of your hot, red heart.

And I would like you to know that (so far) I am so grateful, I am tired, wet from the salt spray, I have stood by the shore all day and all my adulthood, day after day and some nights. But now I am ready to kiss the heart of a woman brave enough to feel fear and give voice to it. For in voicing our fears we introduce oxygen and in so doing give our fires life.

And yet I shall fondly look back at those times of loneliness at the water, the rock of the deep ocean, the creak of the wood that buoys me, the feeling of my tired hands shaking against the oars as I pull again, again against strong waves.

I don’t want my idea of you. That’s too easy, and it isn’t real. I want you, faults and all. And I want you to want me, faults and all, not any ideas you have about love.


“Becoming “awake” involves seeing our confusion more clearly.” ~ Chögyam Trungpa

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darcit Dec 6, 2014 4:40pm

I love this and it speaks to my heart..thank you

Amy E Jul 24, 2014 10:12pm

This is a great piece of writing…near and dear to my heart. See above. I am confused when I receive mixed messages. (I am not always sure that I am communicating with just one person.) I am confused when my heart is sure of something and my mind is terrified of being hurt. I have been so open with my heart in the past and, in recent years, my heart has been brutalized by terrible people. So much so, that I barely survived. I learned to be numb and to not trust others…extremely contrary to my true nature. A self defense mechanism. Last fall, I came across the brightest star I had ever seen. I lost my head and my heart. I have never felt that way before. I opened my heart with love, and was astounded to discover that evil people contacted you. I wish you had come to me in that moment. I would have answered everything honestly. You could have been a hero by helping me stop their reign of terror. I was shattered. Not only did I lose you, but they "won" again. It killed me. Then the gossiping started. Add humiliation to hurt. I couldn't breathe. I shut down completely and swore I would not and could not open myself to anyone ever again. Then I went numb and distracted myself with work and movies. I spent time with my very supportive and loving friends. The pain started to subside. I was over the anger in May. My intention was to say how sorry I was that my life effed up your life. I sought forgiveness. I wanted to cleanse both our hearts. I decided to be open and see where you stood. I am frustrated because I wish you really knew me. I am a very loving person without a mean bone in my body. I fear the shadow of the haters will remain between us. They "win" again. This time, I will not allow them to best me. I paid dearly before. I'm asking you to take a leap of faith and trust me. I know that will be hard for you. You are wired for self-preservation. I am willing to step way outside my comfort zone to know you. I want to meet you in person and talk for hours. I want to laugh with you. It will be nearly impossible for me to file this away (if necessary), until after we meet. I will answer all questions honestly. I will bare my soul. That's being vulnerable. That's inviting intimacy. If you cannot do this, I will not press you. I respect you. I appreciate you. The last thing I want to do is hurt you again.

Jenna B. Wiser Dec 23, 2013 6:29am

Are you the most amazing thing ever?? When did you write this? I’m getting caught up on these stories and will go back and comment on the previous ones too. I just want to say stop here and say I would NEVER do any of the things you fear in this writing. I do not flirt with anyone. Ever. Even when I’m single. (Unless I see my soulmate and then apparently I turn aggressive, wild, and crazy:). I have also never ended any relationship for anyone else for I believe it is far better to take time between relationships. That being said please reread above comment in parenthesis. I would treat my love with the utmost respect and care, far more than I would any of my friends and I love my friends dearly! There only one place in your life for the one you love and that is at the top. #1. Above everything else. As I have said before you will see in time. For in time all truth is revealed. And the truth shall set you free!! Which is why I’m about to be single. The irony. 😉

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.