Essay, Reflections

Surrender…?

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you have to lose big before you can win. Sometimes you have to let go before you can move forward. And sometimes, you have to surrender before you can be empowered.

I learned that mostly through getting sober in a 12 step group. Being a stubborn lass, I often push myself well beyond my limits, convinced that “if I give up now, I will never get back in the game.” And too often, that has proven to be true.

But there occasionally comes a time when I know I can’t continue, when there is simply not enough left in the tanks or the reserves to carry on. There are times when the battle, for survival or supremacy, simply isn’t worth it anymore. And times when even my wild imagination cannot fantasize a happy outcome, no matter how bizarre and impossible I allow the parameters for “success” to become. The question is knowing when that is…

Hello, Time, my ever present nemesis…”

Because letting go of something that isn’t working (at the right time) may ennable you to notice opportunities you would otherwise have missed; aka the other door or window that appears in the vacuum. Or it may allow you to accept help, whether it comes from other people, some Divine influence, or a quirk of fate. It certainly forces you to re-evaluate your place and your priorities, perhaps leading you to more realistic and attainable victories. Such re-orientation brings new strength to bear in the struggle, new hope, new goals to pursue. It reinvigorates the life you are presently living, however diminished that might be from the one you were pursuing…

But giving up too soon is a cop out, a failure, a loss of momentum; it makes you a quitter, rather than a winner, no matter how successful your “lesser” life becomes. Surrendering too early makes you weaker rather than stronger, presenting as a failure of will rather than an unwinnable contest. It creates a sand pit, a muckhole full of regret and “what if’s” hungry to suck you in at your first hesitation during any subsequent efforts. It is a loss from which you never truly recover…

So, how do you know where that line is? How do you figure out the timing of any surrender? Do you just push on, bruised and broken, until your only coherent thought is “enough, already!”? Or do you push on after that, preferring to err on the side of trying too hard, rather than quitting too soon? Do you literally press on until death drops you while still in harness? (Romantic thought, yes, but unrealistic, as the body usually stops functioning well before death actually comes to claim it.)

I was watching a show the other day, some apolcalyptic, end of the world scenario, where different factions fought about the best way to save the world. And as those “in power” argued amongst themselves trying to one-up each other, a doomsday cult grew up among the common people. The common folk accepted the inevitable end of humanity, seeking love and comfort from each other, while dreaming of how some other form of life (better than the plague that humans have become) would one day rise up to take our place.

Sound familiar?…

But then some renegade science geeks found a way to possibly save humanity, risking all to fight against the powers that be to achieve their vision of possible survival. And just when it seemed they might have succeeded, against all odds, the doomsday cult interceded with an act of terrorism to destroy that fragile hope, and the miracle device they built. Apparently, having accepted the inevitable end, having properly surrendered and found peace, they could not now accept that such an end might not occur. And so they acted out to make sure it would…

Have we, as a species (the masses, not the elites), surrendered our “power” too soon?

That’s the question haunting me today. For I believe I have accepted that humanity, or society anyway (as it is currently structured), is doomed; it simply cannot be saved. Nor do I believe it should be. Too much damage done over too many centuries, too many repeated failures and mistakes, too much proof that “good” can never truly triumph over the “evil” that rules. So, like many others, I wait for the inevitable end, the collapse of society as we know it.

But that end never seems to come, does it?

I mean, all the indicators are there – climate change, mass extinctions, vastly disproportionate allocation of resources, constant discord, increasing violence, an absolute refusal by those in power to change course, and an inability for the common folk to make them. Doomsday cults are a dime a dozen, and the major religions all seem to be preaching “end of days” scenarios. Countless apocalyptic dates have come (and passed), and more are predicted ahead. Most people seem to agree the “end is coming”; it’s really just a matter of when…

And yet…

And yet we keep on keeping on, limping through each day crippled but not dead. Individuals and entire species die off, while new individuals are born and live. Microscopic life forms are thriving (at the expense of others, of course). The sun rises each day on a planet more polluted than the day before. The moon transits through her phases, bearing witness to growing sorrows. But life, and more importantly here, society, continues. Why?!

I believed people who said the economy would collapse. I believed those who said humanity would turn on and destroy itself. But it hasn’t happened. Yet. And that’s a problem for someone like me. Why?

Because every day is a struggle. Because I want nothing more than to lay down my “coping tools” and give up. And I suspect I’m not the only one. But we can’t do that. Not really. Because if we give up too soon, we will only increase our suffering, but not speed up our relief. We won’t die, at least not right away. And while we wait for that, we will lose everything we are barely holding onto now.

I, personally, don’t like how it feels to be homeless and hungry. I’ve been there (long ago), when I was stronger and more physically capable, but I was still miserable. I can’t even fathom going through that now! So I continue to drag myself to work, day after day, juggling bills I can’t actually pay off, waiting expectantly for the day when these struggles become meaningless. But that day never actually comes…

I watch people I love struggle the same way, knowing how little I can do to actually alleviate their pain, because I have none of the resources that might actually help them. And I know they feel the same. I’m starting to feel just a tad bit envious of every death I learn about, knowing they, at least, have escaped. It’s getting to the point where I’m no longer sure if the “grief” I experience, the tears I cry, are to honor those who’ve passed, or to lament the fact that I haven’t!

And those doomsday predictors have all had to “walk back” their predictions, claiming now that we will not pass from this place with a boom and a flash, but with a whimper and a slow rotting away. Maybe in my lifetime, or maybe three generations away! The end, however inevitable it may seem, is not necessarily imminent…

“Time, my old enemy, you have a wicked and cruel sense of humor!”

Is giving up even an option anymore? Is there any chance that surrender could hasten the end of this war? It doesn’t seem that way to me, but perhaps I’m missing something here. Please feel free to enlighten me…

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Dreams, Reflections

The Labyrinth

Trapped in the labyrinth in last night’s dreams

being tested, repeatedly.

All different scenarios, but with the same goals:

to get me to own my own shit.

I tried to engage the people I met

to recruit them toward helping me.

But every one turned their backs on me…

After all… it wasn’t their shit!

The “answer” was always the same –

some version of “letting go”

or “moving on”

and leaving them on their own…

Until every twist and turn within

became almost predictable.

With me saying, “yep, yep, yep…”

And starting to speed up my steps.

One of the advantages, I suppose

of so many years getting to know

My self…

And then I woke, relieved at first

that the tests were temporarily shelved.

Only to roll out of bed to intense physical pain,

brought on by the questionable weather?

“What the hell is this about?!,”

I thought to ask myself.

“So much progress made today,

and this is the thanks I get?!”

***

So much I’ve learned in lifetimes here, but one truth remains elusive: how to find real relief living in a 3D shell residing in a 3D hell…

I mean, truthfully, every day here is like every other, as predictable as the dream itself. I wake, quite often feeling physical pain, just to prove it’s not a dream. Drink coffee. Clean myself (maybe) or have breakfast (maybe), but those are the only variables with which to play. Dress myself and head to work, to “earn” my way in this world…

Then it’s off to visit friends sometimes, or maybe a trip to the store, to buy those necessities a 3D body requires (like coffee, and food, and clothes). Then home (at last!) to see my cat, who’s waiting eagerly for his treats. More coffee, and a chance to sit (finally!), to catch up on some emails, read some blogs, or maybe watch tv…

Until I’m sleeping where I sit, struggling to stay awake. Why? I have no real idea. Maybe because to sleep resets the day, so I can go through it all again…

And once a week work offers me a check, a “thank you for showing up” gesture that I appreciate. So one night a week includes a trip to the bank, to put my UOMe into a talking machine. But there is nothing owed to me, when all the math is done, as I am just a temporary holding station. For two days later, I guarantee, I’ll be on the internet, paying bills, all honestly owed. And my IOThem’s are always more than UOMe’s, you know.

So it’s back up for another day, another round of all this stuff. And I can find no real escape! Trapped here in this vicious cycle, monotony day by day. Predictable as the labyrinth within my dream, but without a clear path to follow. Not even the offer of a dead end path, down which I might willingly wander. If only for the change of pace…

My mind is free to wander, of course, and it very often does. But the body remains trapped here, unable to “move on.” And while I realize that I have much here to be grateful for, and perhaps more than I deserve, the truth that haunts the background here is, “who wants to live in a cage?”

***

“Why is this?! It makes no rational sense!,” I scream in my frustration.

“There is no logical, reasonable, spiritual explanation that even remotely justifies it!”

For if reality is my own creation (and I believe it is),

and if I am capable of manifesting miracles here (which I believe I’ve done),

then there is no way I should be physically trapped here in this place!

The body is just a vessel, nothing more, nothing less. Is there any wonder why I’m often self-destructive? I know I’ve earned every pain, every ache, with the bad decisions I’ve made. But seriously, self, this is the worst “joke” I’ve ever played upon myself!

And no, I’m not looking for outside help or explanations here; I “get” what the labyrinth expects: my shit, my problem, my dilemma to work out. I’m only writing here to record the steps I’ve taken, leaving breadcrumbs to mark my way. Taking note of all the other scratches, marks, and indicators of the many times I’ve passed this way. This one part of the puzzle has me stymied, to be sure, but I’m certain (absolutely certain!) that there must be a way!

Every other test I’ve faced has involved letting go, or moving on, so how do they apply? Other than the obvious which would be to simply die? But even that solution is not available to me, at least not at this time. But with time now proven to be irrelevant…

“Damn! And I’m right back where I started!” Once again…

And the labyrinth chalks up yet another win…

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Poetry

“The Hourglass…”

The hourglass is flipped

a new period begins

with all the promise and excitement

that such newness always brings…

The sand starts to fall

immediately

a little pile forming

in the space known as “potential”…

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

The pile grows taller and broader

spreading out

claiming most of the floor

of its newest glass home…

Like a disease of spirit

an imminent threat

“Hurry up!,” it warns me

“before you get swallowed…”

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

But Time waits for no one

not even me

Racing always forward

like a river to the sea…

Slipping through our fingers

restricted only by the neck

No respect for age, nor wisdom

only temporarily controlled by glass…

[STOP!!! JUST STOP!!! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!]

And so it does…

Staring at the hourglass, watching the sand

one grain at a time, to see where they land…

They fall in formation, drawing loose patterns

Designs lost when the others reach out and then cover…

But I see them falling now, grain by soft grain

creating a wave of abrasives

to obliterate what I’ve seen…

[You may continue; I’m ready now…]

The sands resume falling

regaining their pace

Rapidly filling

that formerly empty space…

Potential takes shape now

a dune spread at the base

a pyramid built

of patterns stacked on promises…

And I’ve taken a stance now

I’ve made myself clear:

I will NOT be erased

now that my time is here!

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Poetry, Visions

“Awakened…”

Opening one eye, I survey my space,

taking note of all that is.

Lifting my head, I shake it thoroughly,

releasing the chains of my long slumber.

Stretching my neck, long and sinous,

I belch, letting go of past memories in a stream of healthy flame…

Rising slowly to my feet, acknowledging my totality,

I lay claim to all that surrounds me…

Sweeping my tail from side to side,

I clear a path in which to work…

Stretching my wings to full capacity,

I revel in the choices that await…

And with one last, lingering look around

at this place I’ve called my home,

I leap powerfully into a pre-dawn morn

finally free to soar…

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self-discovery, Stories..., Visions

The Embrace…

I am walking down a forest path, at peace, contemplating all that has been happening near me.  Something moves in front of me, though what it is at first eludes me.  Gradually my eyes focus enough to “discover” a being hiding in the gloom behind a tree…

I stop walking, not wanting to intrude on or frighten this stranger before me…

“It’s ok,” I softly say.  “I’m not here to harm you or disturb you in any way.  I’m just passing through…  Would you mind if I passed by, or would you prefer me to turn around and leave?  After all, you were here first, weren’t you?”  I smile to reinforce my words…

The being leans forward a bit, looking up and down the path.  I see now its humanoid form.  I notice also its wariness, its vigilence.  I sense no fear coming from the being, just profound awareness, and caution…  And strength, unlike anything I have encountered before!  This being is in its element, and knows it; if anyone should be afraid, it should be me…

But I am not afraid…

I wait, patiently, wondering if (and how) this being may communicate with me.  After several minutes, the sense of threat, of possible dire consequence, begins to fade.  The being checks the path once more, before stepping out to face me…

At first I am bewildered by what I see, questioning if it’s a trick of light, or some sort of mirrored shield being held up in front of me; for standing on the path ahead is a younger, darker version of me.  She is cloaked and hooded in forest greens, well camouflaged in this environment.  Her posture is alert, but relaxed, raw power emanating from every pore of her being.  She simply looks at me, expectantly, waiting for my reaction…

It is then I realize it is my Shadow facing me, the one who’s call has been leading me for days.  And slowly, the odd dynamics of our current status begin revealing themselves to me…

For clearly, she has the power for now; her strength, purpose, presence are palpable.  But I am in control; my consciousness must decide what happens next…  I stand there, rooted like the trees surrounding me, held in this timeless moment by the sense of import, the sheer significance of this encounter!  Finally, I take a small, almost involuntary, stumbling step forward.  She stands straighter, somehow creating a less threatening posture in spite of growing taller…

“May I approach?,” I think to ask, falling back on familiar civilities, while seeking to convey respect.

She nods, but says nothing…

I approach slowly, soaking up every detail, mesmerized by all I see…  “You are truly magnificent!,” I breathe aloud as I get close enough to truly see her.  And she is!  All the things that I am not – confident, secure, balanced – and so, so, so much more; I have difficulty grasping that she is me, given how different we appear.

“I have been looking for you,” I explain to her.  “Everywhere.  In the forests mostly, but also in the lakes and oceans, in the sunlight that warms my skin, and the moonlight that guides my dreams.  I have searched for you in my sanctuary spaces, and travelled to the crossroads hoping to encounter you.  I have even dipped into the river of time seeking just a moment with you…”

“I have been waiting for you,” she finally speaks.  “And now you have come…”

I chuckle nervously, unsure about what to do next, so I ask…  “Now what?  We have met.  What happens next?”

“That’s up to you,” she softly answers.  I am captivated by her calm, her lack of urgency, anxiety, or need…  “What do you want?,” she whispers…

Echoes of that question reverberate in my mind, remembering other places, other times this question was asked of me.  But this time, I know immediately what I want!

“I want to embrace you, to hug you, to hold you close to me,” I answer, before shyness can prevent the words from escaping…

She smiles fully, holding open her arms wide, offering herself in perfect trust.  I step forward eagerly, carefully placing my left arm above her shoulder, and my right arm beneath hers.  Leaning slightly right, I hug her tightly, heart to heart, and let myself go completely in this moment…

I become aware of our heartbeats, separate, but the same.  I feel them merging into one resounding, rhythmic, beat.  I sense the boundary between us dissolving, with neither absorbing the other, but each becoming One…  Each cell that defines us, each strand of energy, every memory, experience, hope, doubt and triumph merges smoothly, leaving us distinctly present while still being Whole…

I (we) breathe deeply, the scents of the forest accompanied now with a deeper understanding, identifying “what’s” and “who’s” in a way I could not do just moments before.  As my mind automatically begins to process the significance of each scent identified, I feel my own (other’s) surprise at how efficiently it does so.

There is bliss in this experience of union, and excitement of what we can learn, do and create together!  I (we) are complete, and the whole Universe is our home…  And playground…

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Poetry, Reflections

“The Surface of ‘Things’…”

I find my self upon the ocean

far, far from land;

I cannot sense a hint of it,

even far, far beyond.

I’m floating on the surface of things

riding a raft of my own creation,

made up of pieces and parts –

tokens of my own broken past…

know there mustn’t be solid ground near

for no birds fly here,

not even the albatross who often follows me

with his self-destructive tendencies.

But the water is calm today, as am I,

the waves gently rocking…

I lay back, stare at the clear blue sky

and gently drift to sleep…

I dream…

Glancing over the edge of my make-shift raft

I see many glistening beings

swimming just below the surface –

a hint about those “things.”

My thoughts reach deeper still

to where the currents flow,

sensing potential danger (or enlightenment)

in the power of the undertow…

“Is this where tides begin?”

“And change?,” I’m wondering…

“Or merely the point of no return,

when whatever IS just drags you in?”

Deeper still the shadows grow

as even Light begins to hesitate;

“things” there are larger still

and frightening, perhaps, to contemplate…

Beneath them in the ocean’s depth

where Light completely fails,

blindness is a gift, protecting me

from what might be revealed.

But there…

Far, far from the surface,

where the greatest mysteries dwell…

That is where true Power lives…

and breathes…

in the most haunting “things” of All.

But floating on my make-shift raft

upon the surface of things

such power seems much too remote

to ever even touch me.

Until I wake…

To see those blue skies overrun

with storm clouds tall and threatening.

To hear the rumbling thunder

and watch the distant lightning.

To feel the swells begin to rise

as chaos stirs the surface.

To sense the instability

of my raft of broken memories.

Surprisingly, it is not Fear who comes to judge my progress…

Nor a desperate need to act.

Rather, the calm of the ocean I slept on

has strengthened its hold upon me.

And as the storm approaches,

I find my self… wondering…

just what I’ll choose to do

when this fragile raft I’m riding on

dumps me into the surrounding turmoil?…

Will I struggle to remain afloat?

Grabbing pieces of my broken raft,

renewing my commitment here and now

to staying on the surface?

Or will I let my little self go?

Sinking beneath the things

past the glistening beings

to the power far below?

Or maybe…

Perhaps, even…

If I trust my self enough…

You think?

One of those behemoths living in the deep…

Will slowly rise to meet (and greet) me.

And slipping gracefully beneath my feet,

will lift me up, just high enough…

for me to find my wings!

Freeing me at last

from the ocean’s clinging grasp

to fly far, far above

the ever present surface of…

things…

 

 

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Reflections, Visions

The Axis of “Power”…

No, this is not a political post; sorry to disappoint you.  It is about my favorite topic – reality and its creation and manifestation.  (In spite of the variety my posts display in form, they nonetheless remain essentially true to topic, after all… lol!)

Today I’ve had another epiphany, and one I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit to.  Not because it’s an embarrassing topic, but because it’s so simple.  I’ve tripped over it so many times before, I don’t even notice it anymore.  I’ve received confirmation, validation and reminders from sources too numerous to recall and/or credit.  I’ve known this all along, and yet it feels new to me somehow.  That’s the embarrassing part, but the truth is often humbling, I’ve found…

So, here’s the deal…

In looking to “change” my reality, to create an outer world that reflects my inner desire, I have looked for ways to project my creative visions into the world I live in.  I “see” it happening.  I “believe” it will.  And sometimes it actually does!  Easy to use such validation to reinforce such methods…

The problem, of course, or perhaps better to call it the challenge, is a lack of consistency.  It doesn’t always work.  And that creates doubt.  Doubt is a block against manifestation.  Thus a self-defeating pattern/cycle emerges…

But all of that stems from the misguided belief that I am a human trying to develop a working spiritual practice or power.  All of that visualization, projection, validation (or lack thereof),  is done on a purely horizontal level!  Done within the confines of this particular (small) self I identify with most closely; the self writing this blog today.  But that self is such a small part of who I truly am, that it is almost (though not) inconsequential!

Many, many years ago (decades now, if you can believe it!) I had a vision of “reality” I called the Figure-8 Cross.  It taught me that for every paradox we encounter in the search for Truth, there is a solution, if you are willing to follow a path perpendicular to the first path.  But that new path you’ve taken is itself a paradox, resolvable only by the first paradox.  From the center point (where the paths intersect), you can see how they interact, but you cannot alter them; while travelling along either path, you cannot see how it interacts with Others, but you can manipulate it.  Figuring out how to use that info has proven daunting, troublesome, and frustrating…

Which brings us to today…

When suddenly I see the cross again, but it is the perpendicular relationship that catches my eye this time.  The actual “power” (to escape the paradox, or to manifest change) comes not from the horizontal plane, but from the vertical one!  And it matters not which plane you are currently oriented toward, as the Other always remains vertical (perpendicular) in relation to it!

So…

The “answer” literally does “come from above.”  Things literally do manifest according to the axiom “as above, so below.”  But that “above” is actually Me – my Universal Being – that I am only Now beginning to truly recognize…

(I will allow myself one simple “uh duh!” here in acknowledgement of my stubborn resistance to letting go of my ego… lol!)

This is not earth shattering, new, improved, exciting, self-help guru kind of stuff; this is simple fact, known by countless Others through many generations, expressing it in many forms.  But this is me, finally grasping yet another fractured, obscured part of Me.  And that is the accomplishment I choose to accept…

***     ***     ***

The most recent vision that has been haunting my waking moments is of a group of people standing around the edge of an empty swimming pool, holding hands.  No, the pool isn’t actually empty, I suppose, as it is full of people rather than water.  We, of the “circle” above, are watching those Others milling about in the empty pool, bumping into one another, causing friction.  Every once in a while such jostling leads to conflict, which quickly spreads through the crowd below, as they cannot move without stepping on each other.  The crowd in the pool grows agitated, sensing perhaps that they have outgrown their space, that there is no escape.  That something “awful” may be about to erupt among them…

Those of us above the pool want to help, but we don’t know how.  We try yelling at those below, pointing out that there is a shallow end much easier to climb out of.  Some seem to vaguely “hear” us, but that slow migration not only causes friction with those they pass, but also increases the crowd in the shallow end, making it more difficult for them to maneuver there.  The way out seems totally blocked.

So, some of us above try reaching down into the pool to “rescue” certain Others.  But that, of course, puts us at risk of falling in ourselves.  I have, in fact, witnessed more than one brave “rescuer” get dragged into the fray; once there, they struggle like the others to free themselves…

What I “see” now is that those Others gathered around the pool are all “me’s,” in their own rights, which makes them actually Me.  As are those below us, milling about in the empty pool.  I am so caught up in trying horizontal approaches to “reach” and “aid” them, that I totally miss the truly verticle approach.  (Reaching for them down below seems verticle, but it still rests on creating a horizontal connection; in essence, I am stepping off one axis to “reach” for the Other.)  My eyes are drawn to the skies above me…

And so it begins to rain…

And the water begins to collect in the pool…

And the crowds there begin to panic…

And those gathered around it become “concerned”…

And I can only smile…

***     ***     ***

You may now return to your regularly scheduled rants about political powers.  Or was it political rants about power?

Whatever…  ;D

 

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