Swings and Roundabouts

This process of reconnecting with self while at the same time, trying to find the connection with husband, oftentimes feels like two steps forward, a hundred steps back. The connections to husband are like rusty prongs which no longer fit the holes they once did, and no matter how I try to needle them in, they just won’t go.

Often, I’ll wonder if I will love him the same way.  In those moments, I really need to pay attention to the voice that says, “No, you won’t.  How can you?”  The old way was mothering; a trap I fell into, a trap many women fall into, though this was no fault of my own.

So, I guess I’m learning how to be a wife to my husband, and it feels a bit like the USS Enterprise saucer separation, which is an odd analogy, but consider this:  two months ago, I felt an absolute separation, as if all parts of me fled.  But perhaps they didn’t, perhaps they simply ran for cover when the reality of what I was saying sunk in.

He and I have had some frank conversations lately about sex, usually when we are drunk and/or stoned, which has led to things I truly was unsure about doing.  I know now that I am definitely not ready for that; it’s like running before you can walk.

So, how do we move forward?  Slowly.  Patiently.  Cognizant of the others’ triggers.  Not as mother and husband, but as husband and wife, as friends, as partners.

Of course, there’s the child in me that is quite petulant.  Her arms her arms crossed, and she is pouty faced.  She is stubborn and still thinks that she’s better off alone.  That no matter the changes in him, no matter the work they are doing, she cannot see the point.

She is the one who hears his I Love You but clamps the mouth shut in response.  She is the one that gets irritated when he walks on eggshells, or looks at her in that way that I can’t describe in words.  She is the one who balks, indignant at the thought of discovering him sexually.  Why should she have to find out about him?  She’s the one that’s done the work for all these years; she’s not willing to put in the effort.

It’s a constant conflict between the child and the adult. I am somewhere in between, muddling through.  Trying to reconcile, trying to connect with him sometimes and other times, not.  Working on not being niggly, trying to be aware of what I’m feeling or thinking and expressing them, if need be.  I’m not very good at the awareness thing because the child is still very much a wounded creature.  This will take extra focus.

Finding my way back to a cohesive, loving partnership seems like a nice goal.  With fifteen years of backlog, we both have to remember to be patient with each other.

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Come Lately

Lately I’ve not practiced meditation, lately I’ve not written a anything significant. In fact, it’s more than lately but how do we measure ‘lately’ anyway?  By my standards, my journey being what it is, lately is almost two months. There was a time when I might have felt a pang of guilt, coaxed on by the ego to make me feel bad, to make me feel inadequate, to make me feel as if I have no idea what I’m doing, to make me feel unworthy of being me.

I don’t these days.  I’m strong to my core, for it’s a place I’ve visited and come to know intimately. I know I’m there and that my light shines like a beacon for me to find when I’m ready to return.  So, I don’t feel any guilt.  If anything, I feel right and ‘where I’m meant to be.’

I read: http://findyourmiddleground.com/2014/06/09/accept-the-seasons-of-your-heart/  (I had trouble naming the link so had to post the whole URL) one of my favorite, spiritual, healthy, and loving bloggers, Val Boyko.  “Accept the seasons of your heart.” reinforced what I already knew; I’m in a great place with a few niggles from history which, by god, I think will be nipping over my shoulder forever.  However, I’m ok without meditation.  I’m ok with not writing.  I’m ok.  My energies are focused elsewhere.  Not that I can’t do more than one thing at once, it’s just the way it is right now.

Occasionally I’ll stop and check in, usually when I’m at a traffic light, or washing dishes, or cooking, or folding laundry, and feel the smile that flows from the very insides of me right up to my face.

Right there, I know I’m doing what’s right for me.

 

Well done burnt bridge.

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For a long time, I have fought a battle that can never be fully voiced. It can never be laid out on a table for all to see. It is a private war. I have danced around it in my blog, written about hard-won skirmishes, and weary defeats. It’s a sort of thing that I have treated alternately with a delicate hand and a closed fist.

Its presence is exasperating, like an annoying mosquito that won’t quit buzzing around.

No matter what I have done to abolish it (think on it, write about it, fight it, silence it, meditate on it, drink, eat), or didn’t do (let it be, accept it) it has had me chained to a merry-go-round. I, a colorful filly with great stems raised, ready to gallop, but unable to.

Recently, I burned the bridge to the battlefield that I alone had maintained. It was done with confidence, and without intention of returning to the precipice pleading for the link to be restored.

But, the ego is fearful. It knows I am stronger, and it bombards me with thoughts and questions, and the same old worn out lines. The crackled movie on a fading loop starring the old witch opposite Snow White, except my apple gift is dented, and browned.

What is it afraid of? I think on it….and have to laugh a little because I simply don’t know.

I have everything I need inside and out!

It could have been a sad thing to burn that bridge, but by deciding to stop the fight; I am forced to face the truth.

And the truth is acknowledging the dark side of self; specifically emotions such as anger, aversion, and dislike. No more sweet frosting. No more battles. No more black and white, or tussles between good and bad. This is it; the beginning of true healing begins with the belief that negative feelings are as much a part of self as the positive. In this way, the ego has little left to live for, and that’s what it’s afraid of.

Without the dark, there can be no light. And, the more I calmly let in the dark that’s practically barging down my front door, the sooner I will be free of these shackles.

 

 

Harnessing the wrong horse

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Doubt. I named it. Immediately after an impromptu inner pep talk. During the talk, a fact so certain and real lit up my heart.  It brought forth a brief, and not often felt certainty and acknowlegement. Couldn’t help but smile. Was allowed to view truth.

Doubt is crafty; often barely heard or seen or felt. The inner dialog hums like the continued strum of a guitar chord and doubt weaves its way in and around the sound.

Doubt is devious. It grabs like a wretched Granny with a bony claw at memories it knows will capture your attention, and throws a harness over the neck of that ill-flogged horse. This only serves to stall progress.

Doubt seeps into life in some form or another. Sometimes it’s palpable, “I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to carry anymore moving boxes.” Sometimes it’s trivial, “Hmmm…I don’t think the chicken’s gonna turn out the way I wanted.” And sometimes it’s a whisper, “Why can’t I…?” “I’ll never be able to…” “What’s wrong with me…?”

The self-doubt prose is so finely honed that we only become aware of it when we question the wheedling whine. We have to confront it, and shove it aside to reveal the treasures it doesn’t want to be discovered. It has no choice but to step aside when faced with truth.

The trick then, is to remember that fleeting feeling of gloriousness from a potential met. That solid gold in the heart like light pouring from an open book.

Remember it. Feel it. Doubt will reel from it. And that worn historical horse can go live out its days in pasture.

Resting.

It used to be that I’d pull one of my boss’ chairs askew and sit in the dark inner office to meditate. Or I’d find fifteen minutes when I got home before picking up the kids to sit and be still on the bedroom carpet; my fat kitty’s presence palpable beside me and the view of the woods known beyond closed eyelids.

I haven’t meditated in a long while; the humdrum of daily life clawed me back into waking, getting ready, bus stops, work, shopping, exercising, cooking, homework, dinner, cleaning, housework and now rehearsals. And, somewhere in there a modicum of sleep. It’s shameful to say that I have no time to meditate because there is always time; time is here, time is now. I spend hours alone at work; I could easily practice but I don’t.

Like a mental, gentle flick of the wrist, the idea is often dismissed.  The irony being that I won’t truly discover why I balk unless I investigate.

I miss nature; her sweet warmth and soul-rejuvenating properties. I miss the Sangha. The awful weather combined with my schedule has made it an impossible venture. I miss introspection. Real, deep, swimming-in-your-soul searching.

Perhaps I’m hibernating; resting while I coast on what I know, with my foot off the soul accelerator. Continuing to abide by my truth; offering lovingkindness to all I meet, addressing emotion, and accepting thought. Getting by satisfactorily until I feel ready to go swimming again. And all the while, aware of that tricky voice which speaks up with reprimands about one’s lack of ‘doing.’

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I have changed my mind

The desperate mental untangling from the stickiness had become my own sealing wax and throughout all this time, I used whatever perspective, or thought, or action as an exit point.  But each one was an illusion and I’d sink into the fight again and again.

It was the crack of the whip, long coming in its furious arc, that did it. Perhaps I had perceived that sound before but it was simply an echo of things to come. Its snap across my heart left a sting that sizzled down my body. With clarity presented, I knew that it was time to change.

So, here I am, hoping that trusting my intuition. Believing myself. Listening to the voice of conviction. Surrounded by my own cheering section.

It yells, it whoops and bounces around, “You got this!” And I do.

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I choose differently.

I have changed my mind.

Perception and Judgment

Last Thursday I went for a run, well, it was more of a jog really. It was a lovely, albeit bit of a breezy afternoon but I enjoyed the still of the tree-lined streets, the soft sound of Heart Meditations radio flowing into my brain. The feel of breath coursing in and out of my body. Really feeling my feet connect with the ground. It wasn’t easy going though because it’s been about six months since I exercised with any regularity so there were quite a few times I stopped to walk before picking up speed again.

I used to criticize myself for doing that and would always feel that people in their houses or people driving by were privately deriding me for walking, so I’d wait until no-one was around before doing so. Now I try to allow myself the grace to admit that I’m older and I have been remiss in taking care of myself physically so I need to give myself time and space to return to where I want to be. It’s a tough pill to swallow; the feeling of inadequacy, failure or dread – they can be real moodbusters. So, I’m making my way around the houses and am aware of these thoughts but am not squishing them down because I know they’ll just pop right back up again like a bunch of Whack-A-Moles. Instead, I do my best to allow them to come and go and I counter them with positive thoughts in a gentle manner. If I need to stop to walk, I break the notion of stranger derision by just stopping and walking. No matter where I am or who’s driving by. I could feel my ego recoil in horror every time. *smile*

And then, as I was headed out of the lovely tree-lined estate, almost done with my jog, I saw ahead of me a young couple also running. I noticed her hair first of all, which was perfectly parted and highlighted and pulled back into a pony tail. She wore a short-sleeved light blue shirt over black pants. And big sunglasses. In a split second of judgment, I saw myself as a middle-aged mother of two wearing her husband’s long-sleeved shirt because she had nothing else warm to wear, a thin hoodie wrapped around her waist, strategically placed to cover her ass, and shiny black pants. Also scraggly hair that had not been professionally cut in a year and no sunglasses. I thought she had me pegged.

Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. I couldn’t tell since her sunglasses were so big and we really didn’t greet each other as we passed.

However, it really was my perception of myself that bounced off her and back to me. And I knew it as they passed by. I judged her and me and was aware of it in the space of about two seconds.

Isn’t it amazing how snappy the mind can be?

I felt vaguely unsettled for the remainder of my time outdoors and it was one of the things I brought up to my husband when I got home. Even then, I felt sure that this woman had judged me. My ego kept throwing up her image for me to compare myself against.

It’s only today, four days later that I’m admitting what I did and thought and felt. And being ok with it all. Because isn’t that what our journey is about? Experiencing these thoughts, becoming aware of them and accepting them. Learning that the ego has its place in all of us, that our shadows are all part of us and how we can become aware of their role in our soul on a daily basis, isn’t that all part of finding our truth?

I love my soul. And the “bigness” of it. How there is so much more for me to dive into and explore and observe and accept.

Lisa…