A Sweet Spring Misting of Fear

There is something about today.  Something of a twist, a shift.  As usual, I woke up before seven am.  I brewed tea, climbed back in bed and looked out the window at the gray sky, gestating with unspilled drops.  Usually the rain begins to fall in the anonymous folds of darkness.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that at least 88% of the rainstorms this year have started that way; splashing down in wet, vivid, nocturnal music, seducing me even through sleep.  But not today.  Today mother nature groaned in prolonged labor as I sat on the other side of the glass, placidly waiting for the water to break.  In the scientific language of minutes, it really didn’t take that long.  But in the language of feelings, subtlety, transcendent some-things, it seemed to be an arduous labor.  And when the gray-bellied sky broke open, it was not what I expected.  The drops were delicate as trembling spring petals, so fine, yet dense.  Sifting sugar.  Relief spilled inside me as I felt the release.

Inside me now, a light misting of fear showers down.   It is not a deluge, thank goodness.  No, just the same sugar-esque storm as the one outside.  Some days, for no tangible reason, I wake up to feelings of fear and dread.  I just do.  I don’t know if this is “normal” or not… but as I grow into myself, I am coming to understand that this is a natural facet of being a highly sensitive being in a world full of strife.  Sometimes the fear in the air is especially thick.  Like an emotional smog that builds up after too many hot days in a densely populated city.  I used to panic on these dark days.  I feel so helpless sometimes when it comes to things I don’t understand.  You know what I mean?  If I could just slap a quick label on it and scribble it onto my to do list… or swallow any number of modern day miracle pills… well wouldn’t that just be so much easier than learning to be a gracious hostess to this seemingly threatening facet of my human experience?

But I am learning to surrender and simply allow it to be, without taking it too personally.  I’m not saying I’m there… I’ve got a ways to go, before I am skillful enough to just blast it with unconditional love and acceptance.  But at least I know where I’m headed, right?  Which brings me to the topic of my Saint training.  I feel like sometimes I throw out all these lofty friggin concepts… about the light inside and forgiveness… you know, all the popular enlightenment ideas… but what do they really have to do with my moment to moment choices, actions, words?   Today I am painfully aware of the gap between my spiritual aspirations and the truth of my life in this moment.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because God is in the gaps as much as anywhere else, and I mostly believe I am doing my best.  But in terms of saint training, let’s just say, I have a rigorous curriculum.

Yesterday I wrote a fluffy brady bunch testimonial about the goodness of friendship.  But DARE I write a twilight zone ownership of the challenges of family (and those whom I project my family issues on)?  I think many writers struggle with this place of constraint.  The fear of releasing their whole voice to the world, for fear of the condemnation of their families, or some comparable party that arises as a seeming outward force of resistance; either a hurdle to overcome, or just an excuse to remain silent and deprive the world of the totality of their unique voice.  I feel that edge inside.  Especially when I write about my sexuality.  As soon as I do, this rip tide of imagined condemnation swirls up and tries to carry me away in a sea of fear and silence.  But mostly I forge ahead anyway, because I yearn to stand unabashedly naked in my words.  Why?  Because the truth shall set us free.  Because I don’t want to live in a world where the truth of anyone’s experience is a source of ridicule or persecution.  I want to live in a world where each one of us is vibrantly alive in the divine wholeness of our experience.  I want you to hear me and remember that you are in fantastic company and there is no need to hide or pretend.

There is no need to hide or pretend?  Why does it so often feel like there IS a need to hide and pretend?  Once upon a time, I had regular coaching sessions from an exceptional woman… She was fearless in her ability to see under the stones in another and recognize the most intimate, raw truths that lie beneath.  Once she said something  to me:  “People like you…Because you’re nice; Because you don’t stand for anything.  When you take a stand for something, it is bound to turn some people off.  You have to be willing to face that.”  And I knew she was right.  It terrifies me to hallucinate a loss of love and acceptance at the hand of me taking a stand.  But it also turns me on, because at my core, I know that I am a warrior.  I know that my life is a demand for me to take a stand.  A stand for a God, a Love who is big enough, kind enough, accepting enough to include all of us.  A stand for the unabashed truth of my humanness, and your humanness.

I say all this and I feel strong… but when I think about facing this part of myself that shows up on the faces of certain women in my life… I feel like a hopeless scardy cat.  But I know this much~ As tempting as it is for me to believe that it is about the “other”, at a deep level, I know it is about myself.  How do I know this?  Because I encounter the same “enemy” in a few characters in my life.  They are all women I am intimate with.  They are all women who live deep in my heart.  But somehow, my perception takes a crooked swerve along the path of the relationship(s) and  I imagine them to be teeming with judgment and criticism of who I quintessentially am.  I am afraid of facing them because I am afraid of the feelings that I might possibly feel in the face of their disapproval.  So instead of turning toward them, I hide.  But then they haunt my mind, my heart, wafting like perpetual dancing smoke through my day to day experience… until I can take it no longer and I must face them.

I used to have a deep fascination with lucid dreaming.  I read a few books on it, and practiced it every night… Experts on the subject claim that in dreams, you can turn and face the threatening characters in order to (hey, a man here at the café just blasted a ton of NOSE DROPS into his nose!!!  He is wearing a baseball cap.) make peace with them.  The same horrible monster that might have been chasing you for years could turn out to be chasing you because you dropped something deeply important, maybe a key to the door of your heart, say…

This is a slippery slope, though, because I just noticed that I am subtly living inside the belief that once I turn and face this “monster”, then I will be happy and peaceful.  Yup, another elusive, shimmering carrot!  Carrots can be so damn sneaky!  I feel an invitation from the inside to cultivate compassion for this fearful facet of me, and to bow to the path its self.  I wish to fully surrender to the work that I must do in this life.  I wish to revere and love the jagged path, trusting that it is explicitly designed to lead me back to LOVE.  It is so tempting for me to be ruled by my deep feelings.  But there has to be another way.  What can I forgive this day?  I call on a God who stands by my side with unwavering loyalty of the quintessence of all Friends.  I call on the collective strength of every single Saint, every master of the Self that ever was, is or will be.  Amen.

PS~ I recognize that my words might seem elusive… but from over here in “the eye of the storm”, it’s hard for me to see clearly.  So if any questions arise for you, PLEASE leave a comment and ASK me to clarify!  Thanks.

Making Love to My Edges

Why is it when the coffee kicks in, I suddenly have so much more to say?  The coffee.  Small double latte from Gaylord’s.  I was civilizedly sipping it and I realized the espresso drinks they serve here are neither fabulous nor shitty. (Strictly flavor wise… they redeem themselves with beautiful, creamy artwork in the foam!)  They are absolutely average.  What a sorry lot in life.  I think I’d prefer to be shitty over average.  Then at least I’m memorable and I generate some kind of experience in ye who imbibes me.  Obviously though, I’d prefer to be fabulous.  Speaking of fabulous, I am going to try listening to Pet Shop Boys radio on Pandora.  Because otherwise, today is just a day.  “Some times you’re better off dead.  There’s a gun in your hand and it’s pointed at your head.”  That’s from the song, West End Girls, I’m not being morbid… I am being clumsy though.  I feel myself stumbling, digging inside to find today’s weighty message.  Writing is like mining for diamonds.  It’s treacherous and dark and lonely, but the promise of finding something magical, transparent and maybe even dangerous, keeps me coming back, day after day after day.  What diamonds will I unearth today?

Today is Mykael and my two year anniversary.  Anniversary of meeting.  But we also consider it our anniversary of being partners.  Now that I write that, I suppose it’s mildly odd.  How many people consider themselves a couple from the moment they meet?  Honestly, tell me.  I’m curious.  Have YOU ever done something so… impulsive?  Intuitive?  Liberated?  Risky?  I don’t even know which adjectives to use.  All I know is that two years ago today, I was at an all night dance party, fawning over a man whom I never missed an opportunity to fawn over, getting lost in his ample, squishy body, his molten heart, his rich, nocturnal chocolate eyes… and suddenly another man appeared to my left.  He sat so still, just observing my outpouring of adoration for this aforementioned man.  I thought it strange… his deep, unwavering presence.  Unlike most people, he didn’t have a need to participate in order to get attention or take anything for himself from the passionately charged moments as they poured forth into the marvelous tangibility of time and space.  (As I write this, the Erasure song, “A Little Respect” came on.  Synchronistically, I put this song on the CD I made for Mykael for his birthday, three weeks after we met.  I love feeling heard by the Universe!  It’s such a comforting feeling.  Maybe APL really is my Friend!)

Hmmm, I don’t want to talk about that anymore.  I know that I could simply erase it and start over… but I don’t believe in erasing… At least not as a way of life.  I step onto the page, and I bring with me the vulnerability of my imperfection.  I do this because life is imperfect and I want to CELEBRATE this, rather than try to present a false sense of pristine organization and flawlessness.  I am learning to love and cherish the imperfections as miraculous expressions of a creative and twisted God.  (Twisted in the best way, of course…) I am going away for a few days, starting tomorrow (to Harbin Hot Springs) and I was teasing Mykael about how none of the vegetables would be missing from their bins in our fridge.  All of the dozen eggs would be gone and the whole loaf of bread… oh, and the cheese.  I have been having such a difficult time loving this part of Mykael.  The part that doesn’t eat vegetables.  To me that is just WRONG and GROSS.  For almost two years, I have fed him obsessively, because I want him to eat balanced meals with lots of veggies and whole grains.  But then suddenly, I got sick of this.  I felt resentment and repulsion and now when I am gone at meal time and he has to fend for himself, I just don’t ask.  I can’t bear to know what he puts in his body, left to his own devices.  But I sear in my own curiosity, too… It takes a great deal of self discipline not to ask what he ate for dinner.  This topic has been the cause of many arguments, resentments and hurt feelings.  We were snuggling in bed this morning (decadent!) and he suggested that I simply love this part of him.  And in being wholly accepted, it will then have the space and blessing to evolve.  A light bulb flashed on over my head.  Can I really just love that part of him?  Like not even just plain old, garden variety acceptance, but full throttle LOVE!??!!!  God, that would be so weird.  I like the challenge of it though.  I love a good challenge.

I’ve been wanting to have a baby again recently.  (Don’t worry, I won’t… I’m not ready…) But I’ve been inquiring into what is underneath this outrageous desire. What am I really wanting when I feel this urge to hostess a helpless human being?  I think what it is, is that I want to grow.  I want to take on an impossible task and through its incessant rigor, I want to know my own strength, touch something dormant and miraculous inside me.  Glad I bothered to check in, because I can attain this experience sans invoking the presence of another life on over populated, lopsided planet earth.

Examples?  Rock climbing for one… I have been climbing for just over a year now… when I first got started, I was on the precipice of accepting rock climbing as my lord and savoir.  To me it was what yoga was supposed to be.  When I was on the wall, I was ON THE WALL.  Nowhere else.  This is the UNION that is the goal and essence of any yoga practice.  But when I practice yoga asana, I am the starry eyed dreamer in the outfield, marveling at butterflies and crushing on imaginary boys.  On the wall, I am holding on for my life.  I am determined, focused and confronting my edges.  To me this is heaven.  But then I shifted out of that phase.  I improved just enough to get lazy.

Climbing has also served as such a potent mirror for my mind.  My self imposed limitations.  When it’s just me and the wall, I can hear the voices in my head, loud and clear.  Especially the one whose mantra is, “I CAN’T.”  Lame.  But eye opening.  While climbing, I discovered this familiar edge where I would fail and become so angry at myself for failing and all the while, the mantra lullaby singing inside my head would be, “I can’t, I suck, I can’t I suck I can’t I suck.”  Oh and don’t forget the volcanic, reactive, “FUCK THIS” verse of the lullaby.  I call myself the John Macenroe of climbing.  Sometimes I feel so much rage on the wall.  I can’t hold it in.  I have had some pretty pathetic tantrums in the gym.  So I stopped doing challenging climbs for like six months.  I did not want to navigate those feelings.  Until recently.  It was during the time of my recent urges to break up with Mykael.  My current evolution is softly demanding that I encounter these demons inside me.  It is time for me to use my anger as power, rather than use it to flog and punish myself, keeping my in a crippled paralysis.  Even if I don’t make it all the way up the wall, I am learning to feel successful anyway.  Honestly… one can only effortlessly clamber up walls, reaching the top without batting an eye for so long before it is just straight up BORING. Zzzzzzz… Watching myself transform, loving myself as I do my best and fail and struggle with my edges.  Fuck it’s beautiful!  So beautiful.

Another example is writing.  I want to take being a writer as far as possible. I want to awaken and inspire EVERYONE! I want to earn a living doing what I am passionate squared, no passionate CUBED about!  Or at least die trying.  I will give it everything I’ve got and no matter WHAT happens, at least I will feel used up in the holiest way.  Sacredly, dharmically spent and bottomlessly happy.

Shoot, I had a few things to say about Jesus… And a report on the second round of relationship silence… but the word count is already over thirteen hundred… and the beat goes on… God, please grace me with tomorrow.  Another blessed day to spill my mystical mind’s guts and my eager heart out upon the page.  And God?  Please bless all whose eyes dance across this page.  May they find something of themselves here.  Something healing, soothing and true.  Amen.