“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know …nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
i asked someone to help me scrape the popcorn from the ceiling in my townhouse and we made a deal. this person has been struggling with self-esteem and with structure. it appears those struggles continue. my house is in disarray and there is a semi scraped ceiling with remnants all over the floor. my environ is a mess and reflects some of whats going on inside my life.
i am hoping to be supportive to a friend who is struggling with a yet-undetermined health issue. there is a process this issue is taking on his body and a toll it is taking on his soul. there is gratitude in my heart for this specific opportunity. blessings be.
i had a conversation yesterday with a friend who recently had an up close encounter with domestic violence and whose world has been rocked. i unexpectedly experienced memories of my own mother’s series of toxic relationships and the wreckage left in their wake. of course i became stronger as a peripheral survivor but i developed an attachment disorder as a result of a few issues dv being one.
i watched myself struggle with being present as she told her tale of the recent events- just as i have watched a kite stuck in a tree flutter as the breeze tries to convince it to free itself. it took a few hours for me to gain perspective again and find the grounding to be truly supportive. luckily i have regained my footing and had a chance to touch base with this friend and asked for a do-over.
Growing in numbers Growing in speed Can’t fight the future Can’t fight what I see People they come together People they fall apart No one can stop us now ‘Cause we are all made of stars Efforts of lovers Left in my mind I sing in the reaches We’ll see what we find People they come together People they fall apart No one can stop us now ‘Cause we are all made of stars….. Moby
there is a dance that my mind takes when conflict or memories appear. i respond, i numb, i recoil, i regret, i perseverate, i dance with shame, and i sleep. it’s a dance i have been doing since i was young. this marks the trail my heart takes that was cemented within my shame-based-trauma. my sexual life and my emotional life are both traceable with this dance pattern. it is probably recognizable from space just like a constellation giving someone who knows me well the touchstones of my emotional silhouette.
just as i stumbled with this exercise in emotional sobriety last night, i find that clarity in sharing is maze-like as well. the map of me remains a puzzle and its only a piece fitting another piece one at a time. and i’m lucky to still be holding on.