Prayer #5 (for the self-proclaimed reformed womanizers)

May you know the value you trivialize by believing any form of womanizing is worthwhile.

May you know your worth without first shooting up intellectualism,
riding the high so high and icy cold.

May you come home to the earth of acceptance, not the mind palace constructed
against itself and in that coming home awaken the warmth of uncloaked knowing.

May you take a massive nose-dive into the divine feminine grace eschewed
by your grandiosity, and as your face hits the dirt there,
may you experience an actual fullness,
the presence of true welcome unadorned by any methodology or presentation.

Let all that you claim to be break open,
the husk falling away to reveal what you’ve refused.

May you recognize your need, your deep, deep need for love,
especially the love you disdain and declare fiction,
and when you find it, may you finally know what you’re gonna do with it.

May you take a great rolling leap into the truth beyond your carefully constructed dogma
as your face melts away, shining your visage,
a sun of authenticity feasts and open-hearted screams.

May your dance of control, your Georgie Porgie role reverse itself and succumb
to the surrender you chase, as the skirts all fall down around your face naked.

May you find there the map drawn by the lines of your perpetual retreat
posing pursuit and finally begin the treasure seek as one not master,
not switch, not submissive, but one, just one you.

May your knowing strip you of the sign you hide behind
and dart back and forth from as you desperately evade true connection.

May you turn to grasp that bowl of Peanuts at the bar of life
and find you were the one both setting up the kickoff and aborting it in turn,
over and over again, so sure the spurn was not within you.

And finally, may you learn that in spite of posing, gaming, playing and hopscotch skipping
‘round the block another umpteenth time, your true essence managed to shine,
making revolution alongside the confusion, the obviousness of the game,
breaking at least one heart in ways never broken before,
and leaving a wake of pieces to gather on the floor of a soul
trying now not to hope you know the breadth of the misstep your reformation made.

The Opposite of Depression…

…is vitality, says Andrew Solomon. Spot-on eloquence and tear-evoking insight, worth the 30 minutes to feel/hear this medicine of clarity. It is another example of what I recognize in my own life as radical grace.

 

“…shutting out the depression strengthens it; while you hide from it, it grows…our needs are our greatest assets…valuing one’s depression does not prevent a relapse, but it may make the prospect of relapse and even relapse itself easier to tolerate…I had learned in my own depression, how big an emotion can be, how it can be more real than facts and I have found that that experience has allowed me to experience positive emotion in a more intense and more focused way…the opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality and these days my life is vital, even on the days when I’m sad…I have discovered something inside myself that I would have to call a soul…I found a way to love my depression. I love it because it has forced me to find and cling to joy. I love it because each day I decide, sometimes gamely and sometimes against the moment’s reason, to cleave to the reasons for living and that, I think, is a highly privileged rapture.” Andrew Solomon

Wednesday’s Wake Up Call…

Following are the words of Gordon Duff, controversial journalist/senior editor of Veterans Today.

Question of the day: If we establish a vision of our lives based on a reliance on corrupt information or information we have not challenged and have not established ourselves in the soil of true personal growth apart from an addiction/reliance on the status quo, what are we? We live in a world that often identifies “dysfunction” and “disorder” as that which pushes against the “norm,” questions established mores and exhibits natural human reactions to destructive or disruptive forces (e.g. Catherine Zeta-Jones is “bi-polar” because she had panic attacks and withdrew from her normal routine after a series of personal traumas. Really? She was human in the face of loss. But it was categorized as disorder and then medicated “away.” Media helps us “understand” what is “normal” as the life of soul bleeds out. It is apparently NOT normal to experience episodes of panic after being stalked. Or to withdraw from normal routines when the way of life you’ve always known is shaken.) Save us from the world that categorizes the soul of humanity as disordered when it is anything less than smiling, “productive,” or predictable.

Re-Visioning

My day started with sorrow. Waves hit me sometimes. I roll and roil. Then I gather myself together and I move forward. I regroup, re-vision and grab hold of music, words to awaken the more productive elements (besides vulnerability) of resilience. One of my favorite songs lately is a Sheryl Crow song, not my usual fare. But the words resonate deeply into my past, boiling now and into the future… “oh, it’s only love…what if only love comes ’round again, it would have been worth the ride. you were master of so many, savior to none. i wished all of my hopes so plenty on you, now look what i’ve become. oh, it’s only love…what if only love comes ’round again, it would have been worth the ride.”

Life’s been tossing old ties back in my face and I can only look at myself. Who I was back then when I could only want what I wanted then. But I’m not that same person. The renewals slice both ways in their restoration of support. I’ve endured being misunderstood and maligned enough times to think my hide is tough enough but come at me with the recognition that you participated in wrongly shooting and wounding me and I fall apart. Huh? What? Wait, I was wired for enduring misunderstanding, for being seen as one thing when I’m another. I was wired for being shut out for no good reason. What’s this?! I got a letter almost a week ago and then another one from someone else and all I could do was fall apart. I’m “suffering” (and it does hurt, actually) a re-visioning, revision needful. Ruth, the understood, not the maligned. What created this?

So, I opened a book to see what love would say to me today after the tears and the renewal, the recognition of relationships no longer possible in spite of mutual understanding and those that seemed to be gone forever renewed but in a new place, revised by changed people. Hey, once I was an apostate in the eyes of one I cherished more than she even realized. But no more. It’s taking me some time to acclimate myself to the appreciation. It hurts. But it turns out that people do change. But it means they change their orientation of what is possible within and beyond. It means they let go of reliance on some bonds for sustenance and move on to those that honor who they’ve become “oh…look what I’ve become…what a ride…” Here’s what spoke to me from the random book opening foray:

“A person cannot choose to desire a certain kind of relationship, any more than he can will himself to ride a unicycle, play The Goldberg Variations, or speak Swahili. The requisite neural framework for performing these activities does not coalesce on command. A vigorous self-help movement has championed the hoax that a strong-willed person, outfitted with the proper directions, can select good relationships. Those seduced into the promise of a quick fix gobble it up. But the physiology of emotional life cannot be dispelled with a few words. Describing good relatedness to someone, no matter how precisely or how often, does not inscribe it into the neural networks that inspire love…

And yet, on a planet of six billion personalities colliding and meeting with the frenetic energy of infinitesimal molecules in their perpetual Brownian dance, the improbable is occasionally bound to occur. A person…can encounter another by chance who will teach himn what he needs to learn. The instructor fate provides, whether husband or wife, brother, sister, or friend, is often amiably unmoved by the other’s problematic emotional messages. Through the reach of their relationship and the utility of his relative imperviousness, he can gently and incrementally dissuade his student from headlong flight down paths that terminate in sorrow. Because of the tremendous variability in the configuration of human hearts and the randomness that throws people together, such felicitous combinations are as inevitable as they are precious. Against the odds, as it has since the beginning, life finds a way.” – A General Theory of Love (Lewis, M.D., Amini, M.D., Lannon, M.D.)

‘nough said. Except this…some sorrows are good for the heart, eh? Now for those wonderful collisions teaching love without betrayal…

Accessing The Love Within…

The trail of posts here haunts me. Love. Self-love. Just love yourself. It’s within you. Lah lah lah…

Is it that simple? If so, why don’t we all melt daily in an overflowing resonating feast fest of the love we are? Besides the daily dauntings of demand, we have things to heal. How? Just fix it? Just grab the ole wrench and give it a twist. Careful there as you hold the mirror AND hold the wrench AND read the manual AND pull back the layer of soul AND finish the homework AND prepare dinner for…

I love this quote. It’s a bit clinical sounding but it reaches into the truth of it all…

“Self-help books are like car repair manuals: you can read them all day, but doing so doesn’t fix a thing. Working on a car means rolling up your sleeves and getting under the hood, and you have to be willing to get dirt on your hands and grease beneath your fingernails. Overhauling emotional knowledge is no spectator sport; it demands the messy experience of yanking and tinkering that comes from a limbic bond. If someone’s relationships today bear a troubled imprint, they do so because an influential relationship left its mark on a child’s mind. When a limbic connection has established a neural pattern, it takes a limbic connection to revise it.”
A General Theory of Love – Lewis, M.D., Amini, M.D., Lannon, M.D.

Limbic connection…neural patterns. Blah. And yet, not blah. It’s about the organism that is person and comprises the brain’s historical collections and circuits. And it’s all connected to…now. I look on this and on love and on healing and recognize, today especially, that without the kind of resonance that draws me away from self-hatred, away from self-sabotage, I can only continue along the same patterns. Duh, right? But it’s intense work. It’s not what happens when you stay in one place and hold to the same influences. You have to reach out and grab hold of someone who can allow your clinging to the leg a bit, to the standard of something less hurtful than anything you’ve known before. Maybe even a bond revolutionary. (And yes, it, too, can be done while holding to the world of people you’ve always known but prepare yourself for the total shift!) 

We get to that love within by finding connection(s) that draw us up and out of our usual understanding of love, of life and of self.

The problem with therapy is the $$ required to get there. That’s why I find myself confident the Universe is love. Life has a way of sending people to continue the work started by those I simply cannot afford (quite literally!) to know. One person and then another, all a song of healing for the open heart (or even just slightly ajar…). It’s possible, as we realize this work of healing is the essential wholly legitimate business of our lives, life will persistently send just the right “limbic bonds” to help us along, to move us into new territory without total terrifying warfare (or WITH IT but also with support!).

I ramble…but the point is love. It ain’t simple. It ain’t easy but it sure is worth it. Here’s to those who add to the process of growth and change…to the work/rest of accessing the love within…