Ever see someone try to leave the dock, only to realize they're still tethered to it? There's always a moment of confusion, of gunning the engine because *surely* more force is the answer.
More force is very rarely ever the answer.
We can't force ourselves to be kind, to be brave, to be content, to be satisfied. I mean, we can, but it's short-lived and not very pleasant or honest. But what we can do is allow it. In other words, stop fighting the tide, the cycle that *wants* to carry us away from the shore if only we'd stop struggling for a second and look around for what's holding us back.
Now. I say this while living with something that, at the moment I cannot change and that, in the immediate, impacts my sleep and my quality of life. But what can I do? Painful as it is even to write this--I just have to surrender. I have to surrender to time and hope and faith and the belief that we can be healed and that we can heal all aspects of our lives--physical, emotional, external, internal....
So much in this life can deceive us--honeyed words, inflammatory messages, retouched images, appearances, intentions, algorithms, headlines. And do we trust these sources? Well, yes, sometimes. Oftentimes. And perhaps that's why we so rarely seem to trust ourselves.
In fact, it might just be rarer and rarer to trust in intuition, the voice whispering, 'yes, yes, but *despite* all this noise, here is the truth...' So if we can't trust ourselves, and we can't trust the voice shouting (or whispering) in our ears, what can we trust?
Here's my thought and my experiment. Kneel down, hands on the earth, and say out loud to whatever's there--plant, soil, air, wind, sun, rain, moon, sky, solar system, god, goddess, mother, father--I trust you. I have faith in you. I have faith in the unseen because it cannot lie. I trust the cycle of the earth and the rhythm of the tides of the universe because all it wants is my survival, and for survival, I must be content.
Right? Preparation is all well and good. In fact, it's better than that--it's what I thrive on, what lets me sleep. But because of that dependence, it's also what fails me, this desire to control everything.
And, really, in a dizzying philosophical turn, control ends up controlling us, leaving us its slave and not its master.
After that deal is made, how can we possibly sleep?
We have no choice but to rest where we are. We can fight that choice, sure. We can wrestle it to the ground, exhaust ourselves, fill our minds with the screaming frequency of frustration, fill our bodies with the acrid burn of 'if only.'
I've done it. I've got the self-inflicted scars to show for it. But eventually what seemed like lack becomes so overwhelming, carries with it such a gravitational pull that, this time, there really is no choice. We give up.
And, oh, is that a relief. To give up. To give in. To realize you may not still be standing, but you're here and you're empty. And, good goddess, is that ever enough.
It's like the reward system, but more sweetly mundane. Around my desk, I have all these little things I've gathered for comfort--shells, stones, bits of pottery picked up here and there, and if I remember to let myself be surprised by these objects--that I found them (or they found me) in the first place, or the intricacy of their small design--then some kind of heavy veil lifts.
That small lifting is enough. It's free and quiet and absolutely renewable--if (and only if) we permit ourselves the gift of remembering how to be surprised, the gift of remembering we are allowed to step outside the stuffy confines of our own weariness.
For the most part, I'm a cloudy day kind of girl. Maybe that's a New England thing, maybe it's a bookworm thing. Maybe it's an introvert, under-the-radar type thing. Meh. Maybe it's just a thing of my particular tribe. Doesn't matter.
What matters is that the light is everything--its absence and its presence. Both heal. Both cleanse. Both draw us up to ourselves, either internally or externally. Both are important. Both are balance.
Without balance, we teeter quite purposefully on the edge of madness. Embrace both. Thank the sun for being so warm, so life-affirming, so open. Thank the dark and the dim for being so understanding, so patient, so gently (or not-so-gently) uncovering and exposing.
And then walk on into what you've been given this day, this time.
It's not your job to make sure everyone is okay, to make sure no one has anything to worry about.
You are not here to do anyone's worrying for them. You hear me? You're not.
Here's all you have to do--get yourself into a patch of light, and just develop that little patch. Find things that like to grow there. Keep them warm. Keep yourself warm. That warmth is more powerful than you know. It will draw those who might need it and, even then, you still won't have to worry about them, to take care of them.
You see, light is renewable and find-able. Teach them to find their light, and just let them sit in it. Let them discover what grows, what doesn't.
You'll do far more for this world by being an example than by being a worrier. Examples find and reflect light; worriers absorb it, twist themselves in an effort to harness it, slowly drilling themselves further and further from its source.
I'm much more comfortable with endings than with beginnings. With endings, there's a context, a history, a learned set of behavior, a standard for communication (vocabulary, shorthand, inside jokes). I'm comfortable with research, with gathering; in other words, I'm comfortable in the middle. I'm not a thrill-seeker, I'm not an adventurer.
This isn't to say that some endings aren't painful--they are. Almost unbearably so. But that doesn't mean there isn't beauty there, grace there. That doesn't mean that there isn't something to learn from that ending. Also consider those endings we can't wait to toss onto the fire, to burn, to run from. Those, too, should be held compassionately, gently mined for their value, be it a human relationship or one of circumstance.
The painting, after all, isn't art until the work is finished, until the artist has put down her brush and walked away. Anything else is, at best, an endless work-in-progress and, at worst, obsession and madne...
I am such a huge offender on this issue--not that my life *should* be a certain way (I gave up hope of control in that area ages ago), but that I should be doing something, anything, in any given moment--that I already ask for too much and, if I take a moment to regroup, to breathe, to rest, I'll be taking even more. The world (and the people in my world) have already been so generous, so gracious with me, that I'm afraid I'll be seen as one who takes advantage.
Do we all do this? I think we do. We must be seen to be busy, thought of as busy. And not just busy. No, we must be productive. Producing. Well, I guess the word doesn't even matter anymore. We need to prove our worth, our existence--at least that's how most of us feel. Indebted.
And, man, indebted is a rough place to be--it breeds, alternatively, honest gratitude and uncontrollable resentment. You're being taken care of, yes, but you've lost the control (or feel as though you have) of the *taking care* bit....