Hello, jujubes. How are you? Has everyone recovered from Christmas? I know that for some of you it continues on until at least New Year’s, but I have to admit to taking down all the decor–what little there was of it–the morning of the 26th. I was done and ready to get back to my regularly scheduled program.
You know I try to take life very positively these days, for the sake of emotional survival, but also because it makes life way more palatable than when I have a negative outlook, right? Well, sometimes things happen that make the positive approach incredibly difficult (as you all well know, I’m sure). On Christmas day someone said something to me that hurt me very, very much. I won’t tell you what it is for the sake of the other parties involved, but I will tell you that it’s had me reeling ever since. It’s one of those things that can’t even be confronted because there’s nothing that can be changed about it: it’s the way the person(s) think and I have absolutely no control over that. It’s like begging someone who doesn’t love you to love you. It simply doesn’t work. So all I can do is figure out how to deal with it myself, and that’s what I’m doing. But I feel a little gray and sad, like most of me is sunny and bright except for a hollow empty spot that I can’t ignore for long, a constricted throat, a heavyhearted space, a loss, that looms large whenever I turn my head in its direction.
Another thing that continues to niggle at me is how inadequate I feel in giving gifts, in giving enough to the people I love, in knowing the answer to the question of what IS enough. It bothers me immensely that I’m still running over these scenarios in my mind, thinking “if only I’d given this instead of that, or paid more attention, or had more money, or or or…”–all of which leads me down the path to the huger questions of what I’m doing with my life. You can see why Eckhart Tolle’s message of living in the Now is so appealing to me, whose mind tends to explode in a million different directions all at once. Paying attention only to the present moment sweeps the pieces back together again, gives me peace in the resulting clarion silence and space, helps me remember what’s ultimately important to me. There’s nothing like it.
Well, except for the other way I’ve found of dealing with difficult circumstances, the Jungian way, which is to pay attention to my dreams. The day before yesterday, my word, I dreamt all night and during a three-hour nap I took during the day. I ended up remembering five major dreams and two smaller but significant segments of dreams. After every dream, or R.E.M. phase, I woke and scribbled enough detail to help me recall the dream when I was fully awake, when I could work through it. I spent I don’t know how long with my journal, reliving and writing the details I could remember and then going back to make observations about them. It was amazingly eye-opening, the stuff my subconscious had to tell me through its creative use of symbols and repeating patterns. I was blown away. I have more understanding about the Christmas day situation than I had before, which, while it doesn’t ease the pain, does lift me up out of the darkness. Being in the dark and in pain sucks. Being in the light and in pain opens us up for healing, because light heals. We don’t even have to do anything more than be in the light, or in other words, be awake and aware, in order to be eventually healed.
So my challenge today is to accept What Is–specifically that 1) I can’t change anybody’s mind but my own and 2) I’m doing my best, and making mistakes/corrections is the way we humans are meant to roll. By accepting what is, just as it is, half of my burden is lifted. The other half is me learning to deal with what I know, coming to terms with it, deciding how I want to respond to it. The ball is back in my court, in my own hot little hands, where I can dribble it, or throw it, or take it and go home. Whatever I want to do.
I’ve been watching the third season of In Treatment, the show in which Gabriel Byrne plays a psychotherapist, and I’m telling you, I am comprehensively mesmerized by this show. This is the one show I drop everything to watch without interruption, I fondle it like Midas does his gold, I save it for when I’ll be alone for long stretches so that I don’t have to take my eyes off the actors’ faces for even one second. It combines two things I adore: watching excellent actors embody their roles; and human psychology–the intricate turnings of our minds, the walls we erect in order to protect ourselves, the devices we invent with such skill to deny, repress, or circumnavigate our painful shadows and unlived lives, and finally, our desperate attempts to find clarity and healing. Human beings fascinate me; I am in love with us, with our complexity, our simplicity, our ability to live with paradox and make it fit as comfortably as we possibly can in an increasingly overwhelming world. I’ll be watching the last two discs of the season today, sigh.
I also plan to finish my own balaclava! By the way, one of the things that DID go extremely right this Christmas was the cowl/scarf/balaclava giving. My kids (which include Amber and Ben) especially loved them and wore them both on the Eve and the next Day, without prompting, and they all looked great. This made me really happy, natch. I had planned to take a group photo but lost my heart for it; I’ll see if I can rustle something up to show you sometime. My balaclava is a soft earthy orange, a color that keeps cropping up in my life and dreams–it’s the sacral chakra color, the color of creativity, of regenerative new life, so fitting for where I find myself now. It’s felt so good to hold the color in my hands, to rest my eyes on it, as I crochet, and I think of it a lot while I’m going about other business. I just remembered that I bought a long sleeved knit orange top yesterday too, completely unaware of the color significance, only that I liked it. Which color have you been noticing most lately? After you remember, you might check out the colors of the chakra and get some idea of a particular message your subconscious is giving you, to help you sort out some sticky problem–and that’s just the beginning, if you’re open. Our subconscious talks to us all day long, if we listen. We really do take care of ourselves in the most marvelous ways. Love to you today! xo