Conversations

A Conversation With THE Other About… Failure

Her eyebrows lifted in genuine surprise. “Failure?!… Hmm, not what I expected to hear at all! Whose failure?,” she thought to ask. “Who failed at doing what?”

I laughed out loud, grateful to be alone in my room for this conversation. “Why my failure, of course!,” I told her. “My failure at living my life, practicing what I’ve been taught… My decision to just give up!”

Lea sat forward on her couch, focus intensifying without any other obvious sign. “Explain,” she demanded.

I hesitated, gathering my thoughts close to me, trying to impose some sense of order on the chaos within my mind. Taking a deep, fortifying breath, I attempted to comply…

“All my life I’ve been taught to walk between worlds, to choose my own reality. Through focus, perception, imagination and will, I can be anywhere. Any time…. Anyone…

“I know this!,” I added, frustration creeping in. “Yet, in spite of what I know, I remain here! In this dying world, this pointless race. I cannot escape, no matter how I try! I cannot change anything of consequence for myself!…”

Sitting back, a wry grin upon her face, Lea nodded. “So, we’re back to this again, are we?”

“No!!,” I snapped, involuntarily. “Do not mock me, or belittle what I say! Because this is a whole new level of enough!”

Lifting one eyebrow in silence, she encouraged me to continue…

“Even my dreams are mocking me lately. Tests and challenges, administered and passed. Pathways revealed between dimensions that are subsequently travelled. Progress made, with or without significant struggle. And then I wake. Quite suddenly. To find myself here again! Nothing has changed!! And if it has, it’s only gotten worse!…

“Then the messages start to arrive in my waking world, repetitive and encouraging. Telling me that all is well, that all that I’ve been working toward, and for, is just about to break in my favor. Finally!…

“Only, it doesn’t happen. At least not noticeably. At least not for me…”

“So… Either everything I’ve been taught, everything I believe, is a lie,” I conclude. “Or I am just incompetent in the extreme.”

Nodding, Lea responds quite seriously. “So, you’ve chosen to believe the first – that it’s all a lie. I guess that makes sense. Certainly is easier to accept, isn’t it?”

“Still, I’m curious,” she continued. “Why, exactly, would that be? Why is it easier to accept that your lifelong curriculum has been faulty rather than you have failed to apply it properly?”

“Less disappointing,” I answered quickly. “To think I’ve been misled puts less pressure on me.”

“But it also prevents any remedy,” she pointed out, quite ruthlessly. “If it were you at fault, you might still learn differently. But if your basic premises are false, there is no chance to succeed.”

“True,” I admit quietly. “But that’s the point, isn’t it?… I’m tired of trying and failing consistently. I just want to be done with all of it!”

“Cop out, Lisa,” she snapped. “And not worthy of you! Just when I was starting to respect who you were becoming…” Contempt dripped from every word.

“It won’t work this time, Lea,” I pointed out quite placidly. “I don’t really care anymore what you might think of me…”

“Fine!,” she noted unemotionally. “Then tell me, just for argument’s sake, why you think you failed so miserably?”

“Easy,” I answered. “It’s my body.”

She laughed outright, taken by surprise. “Oh please do explain this theory to me…”

“It’s not theory, Lea; it’s fact.” I remained calm and focused as I explained. “All the traveling I have done, per your and others’ teachings, has involved projecting my mind, my spirit, my perspective into another space or time. Not exactly hard to do. And while my experiences in those other places have contributed to creating who I am, influencing my thoughts, moods, interactions and expectations, they are always limited by my body…

“Because any disturbance to my body will snap me back into my own time and space, whether I wish to return or not. It’s like an anchor, dragging me down, time and time again. There is no escaping it! Ever! Until, or unless, I can find a way to cross those dimensional barriers with my body as well as my mind, I will never be free.”

“And frankly,” I smirked, “I have no reason to want to take it with me. This body is broken. It may be my fault, having treated it thoughtlessly and recklessly, but it does not serve me well now. So, even if I could figure out how to travel with it, I wouldn’t bother to try. What would be the point? I can’t trust it to perform the most basic of actions anymore, nor can I escape the constant pain of being in it…

“Therefore,” I concluded smugly, “my work here is done. I’m playing the waiting game until I can be gone…”

Lea sat back to contemplate what I’d said, while I left to get something to eat… When I returned, she jumped in, as though the conversation had never stalled…

“But you’re forgetting something important,” she stated with her characteristic certainty. “Reality, after all, is just an illusion.”

“Not true,” I answered immediately, “as my body proves. Because no matter what reality I’m in, it can drag me back here again. Therefore, my body exists in some real time or space, giving its needs total primacy.”

Lea shook her head, denying me. But she did not speak.

“Prove to me otherwise, Lea,” I implored her. “Show up in my life for real. Bring your body if you can. Walk up and talk to me, face to face…

“Until you can do that, or unless I should say, we have nothing more to discuss. For you and I will both remain trapped exactly where and when we are. And all this talk about traveling between worlds will take on the aura of pure fantasy, as it properly should. Because so long as our bodies anchor us, neither one will ever be truly free…

“That’s the facts, Lea,” I concluded, sadly. “Accept, as I have, and move on, or prove me wrong definitively. If you do that, I will gladly adopt the mantle of student once more. If you can’t, I prefer to surrender gracefully…”

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Conversations

A Conversation With THE Other About… Whatever

“Pssst… Lisa!” I heard it whispered directly in my ear, startling me. I chose to ignore it.

“Pssssst, Lisa!” A little louder and more demanding. Again, I ignored her, having no desire to speak.

“Pssst, Lisa! I know you can hear me…”

“Of course I can!,” I snapped. “But I’m choosing not to interact. Please respect that.”

“Pssst…”

“Stop it already!,” I spoke out loud. “Just go away!”

And so it went for days. And then more days. Until I couldn’t ignore her anymore.

“What is your issue, Lea?!,” I finally acknowledged. “Why can’t you take no for an answer?! I don’t want to talk to you! Can I be any clearer?!”

Sitting back to lounge more comfortably on her beige, unremarkable couch, she smiled. A gloating, mocking, childish expression of getting her own way…

“What is your issue?,” she responded calmly, not at all moved by my exasperation. “Since when do you ignore me when I come to visit?”

“Since I grew up and realized you’re not nearly as wise or powerful as I once thought. Since I stopped worshipping the ground you walked on. Since I stopped believing you could teach me what I wanted to know… I’m not a child anymore, Lea! It’s time you accepted that.”

She sat there silently, staring at the ceiling, saying nothing. Finally she turned to face me. “Well, you’re acting kind of childish now,” she pointed out.

Letting my anger and frustration go in a deep, shuddering sigh, my whole demeanor sank and settled. “You’re absolutely right,” I admitted.

“Why?,” she asked me, curious as always about what motivates me.

Shaking my head slowly, I sat back more comfortably in my bed, preparing to face this conversation whether I wanted to or not. Taking comfort from the cat who is never far from my side when we’re both in the house, I took time to think about my answer.

“I’m not sure, really,” I began. “Maybe because I suspect what this visit is about, and, like any child, I’ve learned that a strong offense may save me from having to play defense.”

“Hmmm…,” she nodded. Then shaking her head in vigorous denial, she sat up from her lounging position and turned her whole body to face me. Placing her feet deliberately and leaning forward, she prepared to confront me. “No… No, I don’t think that’s it at all. Want to try again?”

“Not really,” I responded honestly. “I don’t want to have this conversation at all… You came to me this time. Why don’t you just speak your piece and be done with it? Then we can both go back to our respective lives.”

“Wow, girl! I don’t remember you having such sharp edges all around!” She grinned her best “bestie” grin, allowing just a touch of mockery to seep in. “Is this a new look for you? ‘Cause really, I’m not likin’ it much!” She winked, attempting to take control of the conversation.

“And I’m not falling for the fake charm and sweetness, Lea,” I warned her. “Nor will I respond to threats or mockery anymore. I’m not afraid of you or what you think you can do to me. I’ve learned a thing or two over the years, and I’m not nearly as gullible as I once was…”

“Gullible, still,” I added, cautiously. “Just not as gullible, I guess.”

“Well, well, well…,” she spoke harshly, rising to pace restlessly before her couch. “The kitten’s all grown up now, is she? Testing out her claws on me?” She stopped to glare directly at me. “Am I supposed to be impressed?,” she scoffed.

“Hardly,” I responded, blandly. “There is nothing impressive about finally being honest.” I paused a moment, claiming my space in the conversation. “Is there?,” I finally asked.

She smiled. Sincerely, for once. Then sat comfortably once more. “You have changed, haven’t you? You used to be so easy to manipulate!,” she laughed. “I am curious though. When did you grow up?”

It was my turn to laugh. “Apparently when you weren’t paying attention, I guess.”

“No,” she answered, seriously. “I don’t miss things like that. You know that.”

She drifted off, silently, thinking deeply. I let her go. Hope that I may have averted the bulk of this conversation warred with grudging respect that her words, while confident, were not born of arrogance; Lea truly was/is the best “reader” of people I have ever met. So much of what I know, I learned from her, directly (by lesson or intent) or indirectly (by following her example). I waited patiently to see if she’d return…

Eventually, she did…

“Clever, Lisa,” she admonished me. “Very clever. Distracting me that way.” She paused to study me intently. “That was intentional, wasn’t it?”

I shrugged. “It was worth a shot, anyway.” That was as close to an admission as she would get from me.

Nodding, a hint of grudging respect creeping in, she continued. “Just what is it you think I’ve come to discuss today?”

“Failure,” I responded, without hesitation.

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Conversations, Reflections

A conversation with An’Other About…the Four of Cups?

Whas’sup?

I’m sorry… Did we have a meeting scheduled for today?

(Laughing…). Oh, do I need an appointment to drop in these days?

[A steady stare and nothing more…]

Feeling a little off?

Could that be why I’m here?

I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t know why you’d expect me to!

Umm… Hmmm… Avoiding the obvious. This can’t be a happy sign.

(Settling down on the edge of the bed…). Want to talk about it?

Nothing to talk about, really. Everything is progressing as planned… Mostly, anyway. At least they seem to be moving in the proper direction anyway…

But…?

[Chuckling softly…]. No “but’s”; I’m supposed to be working on eliminating those, remember?

Sometimes “but’s” are necessary. How else would you sit so comfortably? Or open and close doors?

[A half smile is the only response…]

Wow, you are in a mood, aren’t you?

Feel free to leave at any time…

So… what exactly are you feeling? Sensing? Anticipating?

[A long pause before answering slowly and reluctantly…] I feel like the walls are closing in…

Explain?

Work posted my job as open, looking for my replacement. All well and good, and a necessary change I’ve been pushing for, in spite of being reluctant to move on… BUT, so far as I can see, they’ve made no move toward clearing out the position I’m supposed to be moving into…

It makes sense, sort of, as the transition should be done slowly (per my request) to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, with as little disruption to operations as necessary. I mean, obviously I can’t do both jobs (that was the breaking point, after all), and I have to train my replacement. Still… I feel uneasy that the person I’m replacing doesn’t seem to have any clue whatsoever that it’s about to happen…

My daughter is finally in a position to look for a house, BUT her options are severely limited. Any hope of an in-law suite for me is out of the question, meaning best case scenario puts me in the house with them. Not sure I’m up for that; very much a case of jumping from the pan into the fire. And my roommate is already considering potential replacements for me…

Yeah… So it feels a bit like the walls are closing in, and the door to leave this space has not yet been revealed…

So… you’re getting what you want, but not the way you want it?

[A long glance at the Other without any animosity. Curiosity wins out…]

Is that what it is? Could it be that simple?… It feels much heavier than that. It feels like I’ve set myself up to fail again, pushing forward too soon, not insisting on guarantees… Trusting too much again.

Or not trusting enough, maybe?

[A long pause to contemplate…] Yeah, maybe… Just doesn’t really feel that way, but I tend to be biased towards worst case scenarios, as you know…

Are you truly worried?

No. And that’s the weirdest part. I’m certainly not convinced it’s going to play out the way it’s been planned, but I’ve no doubt I’ll weather it ok. And most likely wind up in a better place in the end. Just maybe not where I expect to be, is all…

The Four of Cups messing with you again?

[Genuine laughter responds…] Yeah, maybe that’s all it is!

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Conversations

A Conversation With An’Other… Money Talks!

“Ok, ok, I hear you already! What is it this time? Come to mock my complete lack of progress, my stuck in the mud lifestyle?”

The Other laughs. “Is that what you think of me these days? Is that why you’ve been ignoring my calls?”

“I have a massive headache today,” I respond gruffly. “Can we make this short and sweet, so I can get back to my pity party?… Alone this time? Please and thanks!”

“Oh… sorry about the headache,” the Other responds. “But you have a stubborn streak that won’t back down! I was just trying to get your attention is all.”

“Yeah, I gathered that. But all that pounding on my thick skull finally got through; you have my undivided (mostly) attention now. What is it you just had to convey?!”

“Ahh, ok then,” the Other begins. “I’ll try to get to the point…”

I cannot help but roll my tired, red-rimmed, pain-filled eyes her way…

“Right!,” she continues awkwardly. “So, it’s about this money thing. I know you’re struggling to comprehend why you can only manifest it for others, and never yourself…”

“Or my immediate loved ones!,” I interrupt impatiently.

“Yes, yes… That was implicit, so hardly worth mentioning.”

“But not a given, Other, and so not right to omit it! As much as I want money for myself to make my life easier, there are others in my immediate circle who desperately need it. I would choose money for both of us, but if only one can have it, I’d gladly choose the other. Not being able to manifest it within my inner circle, while watching it gather in droves all around us is beyond frustrating!” My headache throbs with greater intensity, as the reality of failure fuels it.

The Other sighs deeply but chooses not to engage the self-pity. “My mistake. My apologies… Now for my point…

“Have you heard the expression ‘money talks’?,” she asks, quite seriously, a suspicious lack of sarcasm in every syllable.

I can only look at her while surprise, contempt, and irritation vie for the upper hand…

“Well you’re the Great Communicator,” the Other snaps, as patience fades away. “Why don’t you just try asking it why it always avoids you?!”

“Asking it?…” I stammer, stunned into stupidity, and near incoherence. “Um… well… hmm… I don’t think that ever occurred to me to try.”

“Exactly!,” the Other grins triumphantly. Nodding smugly (or sagely, as it’s often difficult to tell them apart). “That’s why I’m here,” she finishes succinctly.

Silence ensues as I try to process her suggestion between heartbeats pounding in my brain…

“Ok,” I begin, in a significantly less combative tone. “I’m on board with this. It’s actually quite brilliant… and obvious. So much so that I can’t help but wonder how I missed it myself.

“However, having no money of my own, I’m not quite sure how to implement this plan of yours. Where do I find money enough to talk to?”

The Other nods happily, a glint sparking in her eyes. “Well, I’ve been thinking about that, actually. And it occurs to me that Money seems to operate with a hive mind or mentality; some money attracts more money, while no money creates a vacuum that all money avoids. So maybe start with just a coin; you have a few of those. If you can get the conversation started, more money might be curious enough to come listen, or even join in!” An unmistakeable excitement creeps into her voice.

“And I would have drawn that money directly toward myself!,” I finish for her.

The Other shrugs, almost nonchalantly. “Well, it couldn’t hurt to try, as you’ve tried almost everything else. Besides, I find the direct approach is often the best way to resolve interpersonal conflicts.”

“I can’t argue with that, my friend, as you’ve demonstrated so many times before. Wish me luck as I attempt this experiment of yours.”

“You don’t need luck,” the Other flatly states. “Just apply a little stubbornness; it usually helps you get your way!”

With a wink and a wave, the Other leaves. And I am utterly alone…

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Reflections

The Co-Dependency Crackdown. (i.e. Taking My Own Inventory)

Life is a challenge. A series of lessons. A chance to improve. A path to evolution. All of these things. And then some…

Right?

Maybe. Or maybe not. That is what I am discovering, anyway.

I mean, I have spent so much of my life in “school,” learning the hard way. Gaining wisdom, some might say. But all of that implies progress; slow, steady (sometimes regressive) steps forward. All of that implies time.

And if I look at the sum total of my nearly 55 years here (this time), and add to it the memories I have of other times and places, the “facts” (or experiences) would support that hypothesis.

Time heals all wounds. To everything there is a season. Slow and steady wins the race. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Keep on keeping on… Time wins every time!

But Time is a construct. A deception. A barrier. And a lie. At least for me…

The truth is, every major breakthrough I’ve had (in this life or any other) came as an epiphany. There might have been wallowing that preceded said epiphany. There might have been intention. There may even have been hints and clues strewn about the landscape of my current timespace. But the moment of change was always dramatic, instantaneous and complete.

I spent months pondering the pros and cons of sobriety before I actually embraced it, still using occasionally and making excuses. And then one day someone said the “wrong” thing to me, embarrassed me, and made me mad as hell. A week later, as my anger subsided, I stopped drinking. And I’ve never even been truly tempted to look back. Does that mean I’m not an alcoholic, after all? Doesn’t matter, because I’m not interested in drinking anymore…

I spent years in and out of therapy, on various medications, trying to “fix” what was broken in me. Then one day it occurred to me that broken or not, I enjoyed my kind of crazy. I’ve never needed meds since…

I have spent a lifetime feeling like I need to “earn” my place in the world, developing integrity, seeking reciprocity, taking responsibility for whatever crosses my path. And yet…

It finally occurs to me that I have a right to exist, simply because I do!

Not earth shaking news for many of you, I’m sure, but it was a life-changing revelation for me.

And I don’t need to save the world, after all. Because each of you is capable of making your own decisions, whether I approve of them or not. Each of you has the same right to exist as me…

And as this “truth” sinks in, “gravity” falls away. My back straightens as my load is lightened. My wings unfurl once more, and I am delighted to discover I can fly once again.

And my spirit soars…

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Poetry, Reflections

These are the reasons…

When I stop to question why I bother to survive

in a world hell-bent on destruction and dying

I realize…

I don’t have to travel far

to see the smiles or feel the scars

to ride the highs of excitement and joy

or wallow in the depths of disappointment and sorrow.

For all around me are excuses to be

whatever we want or expect to become:

the rich, the poor, the sickly and well

the humble, the prideful, the angry and lustful.

And whether or not I agree with their choices

I acknowledge their right to choose.

Soo…

Looking into the “eyes” that surround me

wherever the place, whatever the time

I accept

These are the reasons for all of the seasons

Life to be lived without rhyme or reason.

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