Teaching is hard. But that's like one of those truths we hold to be self-evident. And while we are all equal, we don't communicate in the same way. We don't process information in any way close to formulaic.
It's times like these I really envy Patanjali... The yogi-nerds out there will know the mythology, which I'll hopelessly butcher here, no doubt, but it goes something like this: Patanjali taught his students from behind a screen. Students from all over the world flocked to him for his teaching and, despite his never speaking a word to anyone, everyone left with the knowledge of yoga.
One day, one of his students stood up to take a break of sorts, and that broke the concentration in the room. The other students began to wonder how this man could teach so many different individuals, some with no language in common between them, without ever saying a word.
So, of course, they looked behind the screen and, of course, were suddenly all burned to ashes (you can't break the master's first...
Dread is one piece of baggage I can't seem to shake. It's like I'm a spy-type attache, and this thing is handcuffed to my wrist.
But you know, it finally occurred to me--dread is the flip-side of faith, of trust in oneself. And, yeah, no wonder this dread thing hangs so heavy. Trust and faith in your abilities is a bloody hard thing to cultivate. I certainly haven't been able to nudge that seed into sprouting. I know it's in there somewhere, but it remains stubbornly dormant.
I should probably stop before the metaphors get too convoluted.
But then again, when has a little thing like logic ever stopped me, I ask you?
But, yes, faith. Try it. I'm going to. So wish me luck finding the key to these handcuffs...(or, at the very least, the dude to whom I'm supposed to deliver this dangerous package).
Nonetheless, across the astrological spectrum (If you vibe that way, that is; if not, no worries. Same-same, only different), space is important. Give space, take space. Claim space. Space = sanity. Every time.
But more important than finding pockets of space throughout the day (bathrooms and I are well acquainted; closets, too), is having a space of your own. One you can spill anything in and it doesn't matter (material, cosmic, or emotional spills--all are welcome; none are cried over in the spilling). One where you can shut the door--where others have to knock for entry. This is physical space, literal space, not metaphysical, meditative space.
I've not mastered that skill yet. Maybe when I do, doors won't matter so much.
But for now, I'm talking about space for letting down defenses, whispering much longed-for wishes, dumping regrets and lamentations, watching them s...
I'm not sure why we routinely think getting what we want will ever be easy. If it were, I don't think we'd have that annoying spinster sing-song voice in our heads chanting "be careful what you wish for." (Side note: 'spinster' is probably a politically incorrect word these days, but I read a lot of Agatha Christie and, unrelatedly, I fancy myself a spinster-in-training, so I think it's okay).
Anyway. We get so desperate, looking at the limitations of the situation we were just in that we lift the coming change into this utopian ideal, when really, it takes a tear-down to rebuild. Every time. Always. Any shift--emotional, physical, cosmic, geographical--necessitates a pulling up of roots, and roots are messy. They're nestled and warm down there in whatever earth they've found.
Even if it's woefully deficient.
Roots need time to reestablish themselves, and they can't do that in clean, hard-packed, neatly swept earth. No way--you have to dig down, baby, dig up that rich soil and...
I like to think, when I'm lost in the world (familiar territory or no), that I've got the DNA echo of the humans who survived, generation after generation; I've got the echo of stars in my cells, in my blood, and that a whole celestial orchestra had to play and to crash together for even a chance at this life, at solving this (whatever) particular dilemma, time constraint, complication.
Put that way, even the nuttiest moment transcends weariness into something like honor.
I've never been one of those brave souls who could do that whole tie-a-knot-and-hang-on thing. No, I'm much better at looking up, then looking down to judge the fall, shrugging, and dropping to the earth to see where I've landed, hoping to avoid major injury in the process.
But this whole swinging thing? That's a thought. Instead of thinking of the end of the rope as a place from which to hang yourself up, to suffer, we'll redefine it.
This is your rope swing, baby, and all that expanse below you? One sweet river ready to take you to the next port. The rope isn't a dead end--it's a tool, a risk, an exhilarating reminder that you might just be onto something after all.
I'd like to think that, at the end of our lives, it is the the dark things we did that will be forgotten in light of, well, the light we provided. I'm sure there's some kind of cosmic justice system, some kind of cosmic balance that holds us accountable, but surely most of us were, no matter how far we've strayed, once kind to an animal, a child, someone in desperate need, or someone just having an off day.
In other words, I really hope the guy I accidentally cut off on the interstate last night will accept this post in way of apology.
If this election cycle has taught us anything, it's that we can't risk maintaining the assumption that fairness, kindness, and the *essential* goodness of human nature will emerge if we just sit back and hope for it (although we should do that, too). Unconditional love (our inheritance and our legacy) is stronger than fear and hatred, yes, but it isn't as quick and it isn't as loud.
Labels are horrible things--they define us before we open our mouths, ending any possibility of compromise, of humanity, of *community.* Dogmatic attachment to this *thing* that isn't even (in many cases) based in a like-minded joining of community, but as a convenient way to package our rage, guilt, shame, anger, and frustration and hurl it at the other camp (the one holding those *other* signs).
But if we're part of the problem, we can be part of the solution. We have to be brave. We have to risk everything because what choice do we have? We have to open communication, cross lines, offer compassion r...