Archive for July, 2009

The Broken Geode

Today feels weird in a good way. My sundial shifted and I am no longer in my own shade, meaning that I am no longer willing to stand under the umbrella of my own and others expectations. I am 44 years old now and I finally really like me. For the past 10 years or so I have been pulling back the layers of expectation like dried mud stuck to a geode. I knew the real me was deeply protected inside the rock of who I had become and I was relentlessly determined and dedicated to the dig.

Archeology is another passion of mine….What lies hidden under the layers is so much more interesting to me than what shines bright on the surface.

So my excavations began when I fell ill beneath the years of layers of those expectations where my tribe had held me “safe”. Locked in a form I grew to hate. I was no more than a puppet of entertainment and projection for the parents who were too scared and paralyzed with feelings of their own inadequacy to perform on their own stage. I needed love and approval, as all children do, and the illusion of security and stability so, I, like Shirley Temple learned to perform for what I needed.

I learned to do what I was told in order to be accepted by the tribe, even when it went against my inner value system and inner moral code. I learned to negate my own inner voice and deep feelings when what I wanted and valued was diametrically opposed to what was expected of me. I learned to be invisible and let them see only what they wanted to see and hear only what they wanted to hear.

Thus, I was the perfect daughter….until I quit. I quit needing approval and found the inner me I lost beneath the mudslide of my tribe. Then, I broke the ugly geode in two and discovered a brilliant heart….full of love.

Love doesn’t come from doing what you are told. Love doesn’t come from fearing for your life and buckling under dominance. Love doesn’t come from becoming a sex symbol or a performing diva. Love comes from being really authentic and only then can you find the one person in all the world that loves you just the way you are. No bells and whistles required.

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To begin a new life, we first have to complete our old one. This is very much like having your house burn down and realizing that the things you thought were so very important to your existence and happiness were really of little vital significance after all. When our past has completely burned to the ground we find ourselves wondering around in the ashes weeping over stuff….useless stuff.

Then, as the days linger on and we see another sunrise, we find a calm serenity in the midst of all the pain and devastation of such a traumatic loss. We realize that we have just survived a deep and transformative life altering experience with our bodies and minds in tact and somehow we begin to feel a benevolent grace. We begin to feel the power of our deep faith return to us for the first time.

When all material goods and superficial relationships are lost we find ourselves in the center of our devastation with a new bounty of our own truth mirrored in what is left. Then, what matters most is our love and our faith. Our faith in goodness. Our faith in life. Our faith in God. Our faith in love.

There are two paths after devastation: one is bitterness and one is forgiveness. One is hateful and one is loving. I have felt both and have learned that it is often necessary to go through the deep bitterness and hatred of loss and really fill yourself up with it until you can stand no more anger or you will burst into flames.

It is important to feel what you feel when you feel it and not deny it or repress it. We are human beings and to deny or repress feelings is simply asking for an illness manifesting at a later date. Such intense power of grief and loss needs an equally intense outlet or it wreaks havoc in the mind, body, and psyche. So, I paint or work-out but playing sports is a good way to eliminate this excess energy in a constructive manner. If we just sit on it it will erupt inappropriately. I know this from experience as I used to seethe in silence and then explode. A less than useful behavior pattern I learned as a child from the adults in my environment.

Life is full of winning and losing. Most of our winnings make no sense in the scheme of things and most of our losses feel like personal attacks from God or some great dark uncontrollable force. In reality we win things we don’t necesarily want or need and we lose things that we want and need very much. We so easily lose touch with what is truly valuable when our world becomes so sugar candy coated with useless stuff.

So, when nature’s destruction truck comes around to us and our gingerbread house falls in and all our little sugarcanes melt, we have to stand back and realize that just maybe we had a deep addiction to a very useless ingredient in our lives.

When all is said and done, we never wanted a gingerbread house or all those sugar canes anyway. All we wanted was everything that we are left with when all is melted and destroyed. All we ever really wanted in life was a real love that was indestructable.

It is very unfortunate that things and relationships must be lost or destroyed to learn this very important lesson.

Only love is real……the rest is just an empty sugarland.

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