You don't need me to tell you that time is a mystic, a medicine woman, a trickster, a teacher. You know how time can flow or stop, nearly drown you or nearly run you dry. You also probably don't need me to tell you how, when time is doing its tough-love thing, how you can be the stone in the stream, sitting, letting the flow wash around it, unaffected.
Well, regardless, I need me to tell me these things. Time is a fast friend and a harsh teacher, but its our perception which makes it so. Time just flows, man. It stitches events together so that we don't lose them. Or ourselves, for that matter.
Someone once said, and I can't remember who, but it might have been Bernie Clark, that time is what keeps things from happening all at once.
Agreed. But it also keeps things happening, period. Which, honestly, is one hell of a lucky break.
I never ask for help until I'm desperate, which is both a point of pride and, let's face it, as a failing of character. I am acutely hyper-aware (to the point of fantasy) of what a burden one could become, should one let others carry her.
Maybe I've just seen too many Lifetime movies...
So I have two or three people in front of whom I can fall to the floor, spill out my bag of burdens, and let these incredibly kind souls paw through the mess I've made of my life (this time), and pick up what they can, offering to bring it back once it's fixed/back to life/not so broken. To these people, I can never express enough gratitude. Not in this lifetime, anyway; they have saved me.
But here's the thing--there are so many more people for whom I would dig through bags of burdens than in front of whom I would spill mine. And, somehow, that makes the whole asking-for-help thing seem less onerous, less like I'm a drain on another's resources (energetic, emotional, financial), because I am SO wil...
I used to confuse 'control-freak' with 'perfectionist.'
You see, I am not a perfectionist. Not even close. Don't get me wrong--if I care about something, my heart and soul go into it, and I stay fully present. But it doesn't keep me up at night. I'm not an ad nauseum editor, in other words.
But. There's always a tension in me, a tight-wire act going on somewhere in my mind-body, and I finally realized what that was: I'm a control freak.
I don't mean about everything (or maybe I do...who knows?), but I do worry and I think worriers, by nature, have control issues (will it get done on time? What if a? What if b? How many steps do I have to climb if I eat that cookie?). When people are late to an event--people I don't know or, if I do, over whose personal choices I certainly don't have control--I get incredibly tense.
I worry days in advance about the food being served somewhere, wondering if anything will fall into my definition of edible. I worry about how much sleep I'll get n...
I think of fractals as the unknown made known. If you could fathom the correct equation for creating a fern leaf, for example, and plug it into a computer of some kind, you would end up with the Platonic ideal of a fern leaf (like this).
And there's such beauty there--both in the math and outside of it (and I know nothing about math; I still add things on my fingers), such a simplifying (so to speak) of something endlessly complicated.
I often wish I could approach my own emotions that way, you know? Plug my brain into a computer, beam the mess of it over the wires, and have it distill itself into a perfect image, the perfect illumination.
But I'm not sure I have to *see* it with my brain parts, although I'd prefer that (or shall I say, I'm more comfortable with that); I think the heart speaks fractal, sees fractal. If we could short wire our brains directly into our hearts, it would all be good.
So, until then, I'll quite literally follow my heart---close my eyes and do what the beats...
I've had nights when I thought panic itself would kill me. And, really, when you're in the grips of that kind of anxiety (real or imagined), there's not much you can do to rationally talk yourself down. That's not how we're wired, and for good reason. Our ancestors didn't sit around, debating the sub-species of Saber-toothed tiger as it was bearing down on them.
But now, man, our wiring is all kinds of jacked up--re-wired, jury-rigged, patched, and one hell of a fire hazard. And, sure, we can go in, start pulling wires, start laying new connections, blow out the dust.
But you can only do that once the danger has passed, after you've already shut down the electrical supply. In the meantime? All you can do is stay as safe as you can and, re: the anxiety-ridden brain, that means breathing. It means breathing in the midst of an attack because there ain't nothing else you can do (short of drugs, and yes, they have their place--but that's not the focus of this blogger or this platform). Brea...
Actually--do any of us fit the corporate model? Probably not. (Admission: I have no idea what the corporate model is; all I know is that, well, they probably don't want me in their club). But some of us really, really want to fit. And that's fine--we all have our roles to play.
But that's the thing--what role ARE you playing? And why are you playing? Why aren't you just...being? I know we're afraid, but we have seen recently (well, perpetually) what fear can do--how much of a drug it is, how it robs us of life, of rational thought, of compassion, of love. Do you really want to contribute to that drug trade?
Or can you just stand up, first thing, and look around--it doesn't matter if you're tired, if you want to stay in bed a little longer, if you haven't had your coffee yet--it doesn't matter. This is when you're clearest--right now. So. Stand up. Look around. Look down. Why are you stuffing yourself into shoes that are too t...
Unconditional love is pretty easy to define, really. Those of you with children get it instantly, for some of us it's animals, plants, family, BFFs, whatever. But we know what it is--we've all felt it. Perhaps we experience it most profoundly when someone we love without end does something to really piss us off. So we don't like them for a day or a week or a year. But we love them. We love them so much that the period of non-liking hurts like the dickens.
That's the beauty of unconditional love--love WITHOUT conditions. Every major religion, belief system, moral code has something to do with this sort of love. I like to call it tolerance. Equanimity. Every creature's right to exist. Your hatred/fear/confusion/disgust has nothing to do with my right to be here, my right to love and be loved.
Why would we ever want to stop another creature from loving? It's silly, really, these lines we draw. Like, I (personally) can't stand the color orange. It hurts me, in my brain. But it's my sister'...
Fear feels safe, in a way. It's all-encompassing, pervasive, persuasive, and contagious.
Really, it'slike the perfect weapon.
But make no mistake--it is a weapon and all weapons--even fists and sticks, stones and snowballs--are dangerous and deadly. So while your fear may make you feel sheltered andprotected, it will turn on you. It will grab you by the arms, this friend, this protector, and shove you in front of it as soon as there's the slightest hint of danger, the slightest threat of damage to its own being.
Sure, it will fight your battles for you. Until it won't. Until it uses you like the body shield you are, leavingyou withnothing--no skills, no wits, no survival instinct, and no cavalry to save youbecause, honeychild,fear will alienate you.
Fear will pull you away from your tribe and insert you into a traveling band of fear-mongers who will, I promise you, scatter like roaches in the light of any threat. They will leave you high and dry--a moving target.
I know. I write these things, putting them out therelike it's supposed to be easy. I know it's not. And sending love? What kind of new-age anti-wisdom is that?
Well, let me tell you--I think I get this love thing. When I have a day looming ahead of me that, really, leaves me wondering what the heck I did to myself, and who is this maniacal dictator wielding my calendar anyway, the last thing I want to do is offer love (aka, forgiveness; aka, it's-all-right-we'll-get-through-ness) to myself, the perpetrator of this stress-fest.
See? That's bloody hard, right? And that's why it's worth doing. Think of it this way: if you don't forgive and love that small, soft creature inside you who, really, is as tough as steel and KNOWS this is for your higher good, then every interaction you have today--every client, every student, every friend--will feel as if she did something wrong, as if she were putting you out, as if she were invading your space. And all because YOU put her in YOUR space. On purp...