We can't go back. Goddess help us, we can't. I think the hardest thing about being an adult is coming to terms with that-- coming to terms with the fact that, yes, you can do *anything* you choose, but you have to do it from where you stand. There is no room for regret, for 'if only,' for 'otherwise.'
Let those thieves in the door and before you know it, you'll be left empty-handed without time left for anything else.
So my one-week hiatus became two because sometimes we need to be a little bit kinder to ourselves than necessary. (Wait. Sometimes?? See how conditioned we are? ALWAYS. We ALWAYS need to be a little kinder to ourselves).
Anyway, sometimes we just need time to rest. Sometimes we just need time to remember that even at our loneliest, even at our lowest, we are not alone, even when physically alone. The ones we love, have loved, will love surround us whether we know it or not, whether they're still on this plane or not.
So we come back. We always come back, and we're stronger and more aware, even if we feel foggier, still exhausted, still unsure.
We are surrounded by love--especially when we least believe it.
There's that great exchange written by Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring that I come back to again and again: “I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I find it so comforting because I can't tell you how many times a week (some weeks, a day) I wish I had been born in another time, that I wish our time could be otherwise. Of course, such wishes are a waste of time, though that never stops my wishing them.
Indeed, I think I have lost much to wishing.
The problem with wishing, aside from the whole time thing, is that it leaves room for very little else--especially solutions that would, perhaps, negate the need for such a pastime. But pulling oneself out of the wish-mind is no easy feat. I think there will be many days when the path is unclear, the direction clouded. Maybe that's a necessary waiting...
Even when things are going well, I think we ought to make it a daily habit to look for the light, lest we forget how to find it. If that can be our constant, our touchstone, then we're never really thrown if it all goes pear-shaped, because we've never lost the ability to realize that even this is temporary, that we've been through discomfort before and come out the other side.
Because that's the charming (if painful) naivete that's part and parcel of being human--we believe that every state we're experiencing, good or bad, will last forever. We're so wrapped up (not trapped; never trapped but, shall we say, preoccupied) in ourselves that suddenly we forget physics, forget how time works, forget how all states are fluid and shifting, reflecting and refracting whatever light we choose (or don't choose) to throw on our particular situation.
So. No matter how you feel today--blissful, elated, grieving, bored, furious, or frustrated--make it a point to find and sit in the light, for a m...
The flip-side to the discomfort of change is that it can be a welcome remover of obstacles, of burdens, and a reminder that no matter how tedious or difficult a task, time will carry it away with it next time it skips town.
But, of course, in payment for this invaluable service, time also takes the lovely things, too, and it's these we must focus on if we're to remain the lovely, pleasant, contented creatures we were built to be. So. Do what you can for as long as you can, and love everything you can, regardless.
It's the things against which we feel powerless that really weigh us down--authority, weather, circumstance. The answer, of course, is time, which is the only thing that can shift any of the above. But time isn't the most acquiescent of partners, and the only thing our constant pushing and griping and pining accomplishes is one more day of exhaustion, one more day of moody cheerlessness.
But I think time (and, if you want to go there, fate/karma/divine will) would probably rather trundle along without our so-called help. I think time has it all in hand and probably, hopefully, knows what's best for us. Not that it makes it any easier--giving in to another entity that 'knows best' rarely does. But it does lift a burden, at least for a while. And that, in itself, might be enough for now.
Sometimes you really do have to forget in order to move on. And maybe that's not true, or doesn't have to be true, for the more settled of us, the grounded--those, for example, who knew who they were, their place in this world, from youth and who have always had the gift of clear sight.
But I wonder, is a willful putting aside, a willful forgetting, a path to peace in the now? Because, I'm telling you, I've done the introspection; I've done the hard looking, the examining, the regretting, the replanning. I've admitted my role in this variety of struggles and I'm no farther along than if I'd just tumbled along in ignorance (speculation, true, but still).
So, for those of us stuck in the spiral, I wonder if we're capable of blank-slating it; I wonder if we could pretend--for a time--that the troublesome whatever/whenever hadn't happened? I wonder if that kind of role play would launch us beyond this part of the experience into the next? Maybe some serious distance--a sort of virtual...
I like control; I like routine. We've established that ad nauseum on this little blog, so I'll say no more, except this: chaos sucks. Chaos makes me itchy and restless and urges me to pace like I'm looking for a way out. I know it can't last, that it burns itself out, but does it have to smolder so much? Does it have to suck up that much oxygen?
But here's what I realized this morning, thinking about this chaos-as-fire metaphor--the trick isn't to pace, isn't to give in to restlessness, because that's just another way to step into the chaos, to participate in its mad dance. I mean, if there's a fire on the floor of your building, do you run through it, or do you drop and roll away and wait for rescue, for extinguishing? And like fire, what's left afterward (think forestry management, think burning the blueberry barrens) is clean, clear, and primed for new growth. All that nonsense that kindled the chaos in the first place? Gone.
But we have to stay. We have to tolerate the discomfort o...
So often I overhear something to the tune of 'my life is crazy right now.' Is it? Is life crazy? Or are you crazy and your life is simply a reflection of that manic need to fill up, fill in, catch up, speed up?
We lead pressured lives, ok; I get that. But I'm not so sure it's all as critical as we make it. Most deadlines, most engagements we can see coming for days, weeks, months. It takes very little effort to dole out the needs of those engagements over time, freeing us to slow down, deepen our connection to the moment, and breathe.
But you know, I'm not sure that's what we want. Because in that silence, those pauses in-between, we see what we really want, what we're really missing, or how we're deluding ourselves on one score or another. Self-reflection can be a big ol' sit-down in the principal's office, I know--but the longer we put it off, the worse the confrontation becomes.
But do we want to keep up the my-life-is-crazy-right-now mantra? How many years have we left in us at tha...