Reflections

Moving On or Giving Up…?

Questioning motives today, mostly my own.  Wondering about this weird “between” zone I’ve been living in of late.  Not really here, but not really anyplace else, skating upon the surface tension of experience without attempting to delve within.  It’s almost like a dream state, acknowledging events as “significant,” identifying which are most currently relevant, suspecting why they may be pertinent, but refusing to make any commitments on this, my own journey.  Like reading headlines and telling myself, “that looks interesting,” but not bothering to read the actual content…

I’ve been “struggling for so long” (yes, those are the words that presented themselves, though I am eager to change them to something less combative, less obstructive, and more positive, but I can’t, or won’t in good conscience do so, lest I give in to some compulsion to be less than totally honest with myself) to grasp (and utilize productively) the concept and tools of self-empowerment.  Decades I’ve spent “learning” this path; yes, decades!  I understand the theory behind it. I’ve explored so many methods of expressing it.  I’ve owned the responsibility.  I’ve dedicated myself to this particular path.  And yet…

I get frustrated when it does not seem to work for me.  (Note the qualifier there, as I suspect it is important.  Lol!)  The truth is, if I’m actually being honest, while I may never attain what I want, I almost always get exactly what I need.  My dissatisfaction comes from my refusal to accept that as enough…

Am I really so greedy that “enough” is not enough for me?  How can that be me?  Honestly…

This past week, like so many more before, I found myself in that familiar but unenviable position of seeing my “almost safe” position collapse into absolute uncertainty again.  I was fed up!  “Why?!,” I cried out.  “Why does this always happen to me?!  I get so close to that light at the end of the tunnel, I see the exit bright before me… And then the world trembles, the tunnel collapses, and all is dark again!”

And the answer came to me…

“Why not?”

How do you refute such logic?  How do you answer such simple and real honesty?  I can’t.  There is no compelling reason why I in particular should succeed when so many others are failing (or more accurately flailing about).  There is nothing so special about me that I should be exempt from such setbacks; in fact, my very history (if viewed from a perspective of self-empowerment) would imply that I prefer it this way.  Consistency is key in any experimentation, and in this journey of self-mastery, “just falling short” is my hallmark, the highest rank I have ever achieved…  Perhaps I want it this way?  *sigh*  (I would ask why, but really what is the point?)

So I lashed out against All, acknowledging I was responsible, but still wanting to express myself.  And in doing so, I was presented with story after story of troubles that far surpassed my own.  Relativity, right?  Comparing misfortunes.  I hate it, and I refuse to encourage others to pursue it; just because others may have it worse than me, I see no healthy reason to deny what I feel.  It matters to me, therefore it’s worth experiencing – fully, and without minimizing it.

But I couldn’t maintain my self-centered point of view, and so I turned my conscious thought to “wanting” what was best for the others involved, and trusting that my needs would be met in the end…

And “miracles” occurred – a shifting of reality so dramatic and improbable that reasonability would not have allowed me to truly hope for them.  And within 48 hours, events resolved themselves to meet everyone’s needs.  And I had to stop complaining… (lol!)

It does work, but it does not appear to truly require work when it does…  And perhaps that is where I have led myself astray so many times before…

Because I have believed in my own potential, and I have owned my failure to live up to it.  I have seen how fear, laziness, selfishness and greed have prevented me from truly succeeding, and I have justified every failure with judgments against myself – I didn’t follow through, I gave up, I never gave myself a chance, I didn’t want to do the work, I pursued the selfish (unnecessary) goal, I made mistakes, I was impulsive (or too slow to act), I spoke too soon (or not soon enough)…  Etc., ad nauseum…

But my needs have always been met…

So I “should” be grateful (and I am).  I “should” accept what is (and I do).  I keep on keepin’ on.  Life proceeds…  and plans and needs change, along with those unfulfilled wants, though to a much lesser degree.  Those wants return with amazing consistency, changing only enough to better meet the “times” they are experienced in; at their root they remain the same.  And unfulfilled.  Still…

And still I question why I am here?  Still…  Could there be some sort of connection there?

Nearly 3 decades ago when this path first became clear to me (crystally), it emerged in a rapid series of epiphanies.  Suddenly I was fired up, motivated, eager to pursue what was so obvious, and yet had remained so hidden from me.  I’ve been sensing such an epiphany pending, all week, hovering at the edge of my consciousness but refusing to enter.  Always on the periphery, threatening to topple my well-ensconced beliefs about myself…

Back then, my “others” questioned, as did I:

“But how can I use this to get what I want?  What is the reason for knowing this stuff?”

The answer came then, cryptic but certain, haunting me to this very day, where it runs through my mind like an endless refrain:

“You will know how to use this as soon as you see…

the purpose of Being, what it means to be Me.”

And I can’t muster enough depth of awareness to even pursue it…

Giving up or moving on…?  Today, that is the question.

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Reflections

Red Pandas and Snow Leopards, Oh My…

For weeks now, my primary function in life has been acting as host of a new age game show – “Name that Feeling”… (Not really, of course, but that’s how it seems.)  So many people suffering – friends, family, strangers, co-workers…  Chaos corrupts and distracts them, leaving them vulnerable, overwhelmed, irritated and touchy, with one unifying characteristic – the temptation and opportunity to make “bad” decisions.  Impulses based on negativity rarely result in positive outcomes.  So I hear myself speaking, repeating, over and over again: “what are you feeling?…  Ok, but ‘bad’ is pretty vague; can we explore that some more?”

It’s been my experience that correctly labelling a feeling often times introduces a viable solution to address it.  Frustration is more easily tackled with distractive techniques, while anger must be appropriately channeled before clear thinking can return.  Sadness takes many forms as well, each requiring a different approach.  Is the sadness based on grief, loneliness, purposelessness, etc…?

The head and the heart must work together, or be driven ever further apart.  And we, as empowered beings co-creating reality, are responsible for aligning those components, for too much distance between them leads to unhealthy detachment and sociopathy, or, contrarily, dependency and powerlessness.  For how can we make moral and ethical choices without empathy?  And how can we devise workable solutions when logic and reason abandon us?

So…

This weekend the red panda and snow leopard exhibit opens at our local zoo.  It is an event I have eagerly awaited since it was announced last year.  I even bought my daughter a zoo membership this year so we could all enjoy it.  (My grandaughter is every bit as attracted to animals as I am!)  And today is the day we are going to meet them!

Yet here I sit in meditation, conflicting feelings competing for my attention, leading me far from Center, and directly into the cyclone surrounding me.  For I feel empathy for the animals, caged far from home for the cruelly voyeuristic pleasure of humanity.  Yet there is no denying the delight I experience at the mere thought of sharing the same space with these magnificent beings, to breathe the same air, to feel the same sun shining upon our skin/fur.  To be so close to these animals whose natural habitat I will never experience…

How can I justify/live with both?  For my empathy demands the creatures be free, while my selfish delight seeks their company…

Anyone who has experienced Oneness understands that it is quite possible to maintain multiple perspectives on a single experience.  The trick seems to be in keeping the separate tracks separated; clearly divided lanes that allow one to experience from multiple points of view.  The problem arises when those tracks begin to cross over one another, combining then separating.  Such crossover invariably creates disorientation and hesitation, wincing at near collisions, slowing then stopping all forward momentum…

For many years in my city here we had a tangled bit of highway locally nicknamed “the can of worms.” Four major highways came together in a 1/2 mile space, forcing traffic to cross as many as 4-6 lanes of traffic to get to the desired route.  It was a nightmare for drivers, particularly the timid or unfamiliar.  Accidents occurred every day.  Multiple accidents occurred every day.  Those accidents added to the congestion of rush hour, making the necessary lane changes all but impossible, causing frayed nerves, impulsive actions, road rage, and more accidents…

The highway system has since been corrected, but the analogy remains.  When multiple perspectives get entangled that way, the results are quite similar – crash and burn…

So, while my instincts tell me to unify my perspectives, my experience warns me against it.  Especially when the perspectives are actively opposed to one another.  How can I hold such deep resentment against humans like myself for caging these beautiful creatures, at the same time I feel such anticipation and gratitude for the opportunity to see them?!

How can I see so clearly what others need to do, and be so blind to what I myself should do?!

Today’s episode of “Name that Feeling” is a beast…

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Reflections

Simplicity…

Sitting here irritated, annoyed, frustrated beyond my capacity to endure!  I wish, anyway…  But I have more endurance, more stamina than I give myself credit for.  And sometimes that feels like a curse…

Contemplating the rats’ nest in my gut, the interactions and expectations of the many players in this game; the complications of needs vs. wants, of one vs. another; the tangled threads of multiple timelines winding over, under, and through one another…  So much chaos, so much tension, trying desperately to keep the knots from tightening beyond repair.  Pulling gently on one thread, only to notice a nearby knot contract…

STOP!!

Loosen that thread a bit, and the first knot pulls together…

STOP!!

Breathe…  Focus…  Can you even tell which strands are which?

Not anymore…

And in the back of my mind a simple refrain:  this is ONE long thread – therefore any knots are just illusions or distractions; they aren’t real!

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Dreams, Poetry, Reflections

Waking Up…

I feel the words approaching

rising up from deep within…

But they are nothing more than gibberish,

sounds that don’t make any sense…

There is no structure, no meaning,

no context or content;

Just random sounds of anguish

laced with lullabyes of love…

***     ***     ***

I woke this morning from a dream where I was being “taught” to wake an’Other, but nothing there was what it seems, and I was so confused… led astray…  misconstruing what should have been obvious, but was, instead, obtuse…

“You cannot wake them up directly,” I was told, for they do not understand.  “You may sound the same words, but you do not speak the same language.”

“You cannot touch them to awaken, for you will only startle them, and fear will block the process, and prevent you from connecting.”

“How then can I wake them,” I thought to ask, “if I cannot speak or touch?”

“Show them…,” came a sigh, blowing gently past my ear.

“Each One is unique, their response will be distinct.  But you must find the picture that most appeals, one for each…”

And so a slide show began playing in my brain, all unrelated images, and none appearing to have anything at all to do with wakening…

“How convoluted and confusing is all of this?,” I asked myself.  “How pointless and time consuming?  How can I possibly know which images will one day lead to somewhere useful?”

Frustration settled in, a rigid barrier to learning.  As I tried to breathe it out, I felt my Shilo start to stir.  He climbed atop my chest and settled on my heart, his purr a welcome respite from the lesson I wouldn’t learn…

He licked my face, and nipped my nose, beginning our morning battle, when he determines it’s time to wake, and I choose not to join him…

Finally I pushed him off, surrendering again, preparing to rise and greet the day, and leave the dream behind…

But as my eyes opened to greet the rising sun, they swept past the frozen clock.  And it was only then I realized I didn’t have to yet get up…

“You jerk!,” I snorted at my cat, annoyed and yet relieved.  “I don’t have to get up now; I’ve got 40 minutes left!”

And shifting to a more comfortable position, I closed my eyes, relaxed.  Grateful for the extra time, I drifted off again.  And somewhere, in a distant space, I felt him jump into his window seat, content now just to wait…

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Flashback..., Poetry, Reflections

A Timely Reminder…

I don’t usually have a lot of good things to say about social media, but every once in a while Facebook surprises me with a timely reminder.  This is one of those “share a memory” things, when Facebook suggests you re-post something from your past.  This one posted 3 years ago on this date, before I had started this blog.  I was surprised to see it and read it today, so I thought I’d share it here, in a more “appropriate” medium…

Sitting here in the dark, listening to music and the rain, cuddling with my cat, feeling deeply grateful that my roommate is home safe and well, and that my grandson is feeling better…

Pondering the sheer perfection of this moment, knowing I am alive and surrounded by so much that is magical, mysterious, and moving…

And these words snuck up on me, without warning. They felt significant, though, enough so that I thought I should share…

If you feel like reading them all, of course… lol

In the Darkness, I sense a Light…
It shines without blinding,
Reveals without harshness,
Guides without demanding…

In the Light, I seek the Fire…
That warms without burning,
Comforts without suffocating,
Spreads without overwhelming…

In the Fire, I discover a Heart…
And know that it loves without coercion
Gives without expectation,
Honors without judgment…

In the Rain, I hear a Voice…
Speaking gently of the light,
Speaking warmly of the fire,
Speaking softly from the heart…

“I love you…
“Now, and forever…
“Just be your Self…”

“Be the Light.”

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Reflections

Lamenting the “Loss” of Spring…?

All around me, locally, I hear people complaining about the “loss” of spring, the missing season.  They are expecting summer to arrive without warning or transition.  And they are miserable enough about it to make conversations, and memes, and facebook statuses dedicated to their displeasure.  And the usual weather related conversations with strangers take on the same sinister tone.  Even I have been feeling the chill…

So I wonder… what exactly are we missing here?

True, it’s cold and damp this April.  And we’ve had snow, rain, ice and wind to contend with on a daily basis.  The sun shows himself rarely, and when he does the ambient temperature hovers just above freezing, while the arctic winds bear down, robbing him of any heat, and leaving us shivering in his brilliant light.  But here’s the thing that haunts me…

It’s early April here in western NY, and this is not atypical weather.  It’s always cold and damp this month, with precipitation taking many forms, both liquid and solid.  But the snows don’t stick to road surfaces or last throughout the day.  Shovelling and plowing are not required, and salt is only occasionally required to de-ice after freezing rains.  Only hardy, early spring flowers are surviving the wet conditions and frosty nights, but that is precisely why we don’t plant our annual garden fare until mid-May around here.  Everything must be started indoors and later transplanted.  Furnaces aren’t turned off until late May, usually, and air conditioners are not required until August at least.  And here in Rochester, where we celebrate the Lilac Festival for a week in early May, it is not unusual to have snow for part of it and sandal weather for the rest…

So what are we really missing here?

And then it hit me today, during meditation, that it isn’t about the weather at all.  We lament the loss of hope instead, the sense of promise that usually accompanies spring.  The “misery” of winter isn’t climate related, but emotional, as we mourn the lack of progress, renewal, rebirth.  Our world is dead/dying, and the majority are finally beginning to realize that things are not the same, everything is not going to come out right in the end, and summer will not arrive with endless sunny days of laughter and play…

Reality is sinking in…

And sunshine, alone, cannot salvage what has been sacrificed to apathy, ignorance and greed…

What is lost is gone, and cannot be recaptured…

Spring, like decency, justice, and truth, is dead…

So let us mourn together in the ways that suit us best.  Let our tears mingle with the cold spring rains, while our hearts absorb the winter’s chill.  And let us look ahead with courage and determination to reap what we have sown.

After all, acceptance may the final stage of grief, but it is also the first step to healing…

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Poetry, Reflections

Untethered…

Sitting in the sunshine, frozen to my core

Forgetting what it felt like,

to ever feel warm…

I know that heat exists, out there beyond my self

Passion, hope and rage

are fueling violence and change…

But here where I am sitting, only numbness can survive

All else driven out now

by the whims of a consumed mind…

And temperature is just a gauge, another useless measure

Something used to judge and placate

an arbitrary line between the pain and pleasure…

Personification, another useless gesture, implying boundaries non-existent

False directives, planned conflict

attempts to impose imaginary structure…

But why even bother, why waste your energy?

If everything is lost

can anything get “better”?

I ponder the “need” to carry on, to see this to the end

I balk at taking final steps

I wonder about the when…?

For Time itself is failing now, buckling under the strain

Of too many misguided intentions

and too much wisdom slain…

So I’m sitting in the sunshine, frozen to my core

Forgetting what it felt like

to ever feel warm…

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