Thursday, May 31, 2012

What is the gift?

Most of my life, I have felt compelled (and obligated) to meet the wants, needs, and desires of others. I actually can’t think of too many relationships in my life where I have felt comfortable asking for my own wants, needs, and desires to be met by others. I used to think that being so giving was a way of being super loving and compassionate…it felt like the only way I could show someone else how much I cared. “Oh you can’t do it? Let me do it then….Is that what you want? OK. Sure…..No let me get that for you…No, I’m fine, I can do it myself….Well, whatever you want.” I didn't know how to connect in any other way...and making others feel good made me feel good about myself, plus I thought that it ensured their love for me, and that made me feel safe.

It's not my intention to say giving is the evil of all evils….it can be a beautiful part of connecting with others, and I feel that it is a way in which we show love through action. I guess I just didn’t ever think of receiving as an action as well. Being able to receive, ask for help, and listen instead of tell or teach or preach or blah blah blah, are all actions too. In some ways I feel ashamed that I didn’t realize this sooner…because of course now I am in a situation that requires me to sit still, observe more, receive more, and really listen and tune in to what my body’s needs are. I can choose to feel like a fool for how I have lived my life up to this point…for all of my fears…all those times I shyed away from people I loved and experiences that seemed to risky, the pains and hard times that I took on so that other people would feel more at ease…and so on. Or – I can choose to feel like life has given me a great gift.

I have said before that I believe that every wound comes to us bearing a gift. I have also expressed in the past year all of the many opportunities that have come through this challenge. So….it’s really my choice now. It’s a choice I am faced with every time I wake up and feel pain from my waist down, every time I bend forward and feel pins and rods in my spine pulling on my back muscles, and every time I think of my past and my previously desired future. Decision-making has never been an easy task for me because my choice was never centered or grounded in me…it was always dependent on someone else.

So what is the gift…

Well the gift in this wound can’t really be put into words. Maybe its humility, or compassion, maybe its truth…or self expression. Maybe it’s possibilities and self empowerment instead of control and force. Whatever label I choose to use, I know I have been taught many lessons and I am humbled to realize that every experience in my life has been a lesson…now- whether I learn it or not is the bigger question. Rather than life taking me away from, I have been brought closer to the people, experiences, work, and places that I needed, wanted, and desired in my life. What’s also humbling is that sometimes what I think I want/need/desire/ is not what is best for me.  I’ve often been upset - feeling like a failure, not good enough, or just plain ignorant because I was unable to achieve those "goals." I see that each time I felt that way, I created a little break in my heart…which turned into a giant hole...and I never allowed myself to grieve any of them. Sure- maybe the goals were not “right” for me, but it doesn’t take away that feeling of loss inside that I refused to acknowledge. Nope…it’s better to just get into something new and forget about the old…that should make it go away. Yeaa Right.

So for all of this, the good and the so called “bad”…I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m beginning to finally believe in my heart, instead of just in my mind, that all things are connected and serve a purpose. I try to practice daily… staying centered and grounded in my heart instead of my analytical mind (or you know, at least find a good balance between the two). I have always been a silent dreamer…content to stay safe in my imagination where l am so so free. I choose to embrace that part of me now rather than resent it…and I also choose to develop those parts of myself that have been waiting to be born.

I could also call this gift a re-birth. I remember thinking in the hospital last June that whenever that day came when I would be able to walk, dance, and feel again…it would be with a new body, mind, and spirit. Of course a year ago, I could never have imagined the work it would take to get to where I am now, but I see that imagination and time do not exist together. Time and space exist in the conscious mind…the mind that schedules my therapy appointments and skype dates and plans vacations or pays bills. My dreams and imagination exist in my subconscious mind…well if I stayed there I would be walking, dancing, and feeling the dirt under my toes right now. So I come back to the word balance because I know there is a way for me to use both parts of my mind as one unit…each serving a purpose to the greater whole of my consciousness…

“There's a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”  Leonard Cohen

I come back during this time of my life to all of those little heart breaks that never had the chance to be expressed. I have been given numerous opportunities to “start over” or “try again.” It’s empowering to know that I have the ability to choose now how my life continues from this point. It’s something I have pondered about for years… “what does conscious evolution look like?” I feel that it’s becoming awake and aware to the choices we make on a daily basis and on a micro scale… as individuals who serve a community by becoming self empowered to the gifts they carry within. I question, what would the world look like if everyone knew their gift and purpose..with clarity in their hearts and minds? It’s a vision I hold onto like a mama holds her baby…curious about the little spirit that exists behind those big, sparkling eyes.

I've come to see that we inevitably experience times when we feel the darkness of grief and sadness and pain. I know it’s bound to return as I cannot control the fate of my loved ones, my experiences, my work, or the places I live in. Nature is the one I can turn to when I think of the fear of loss…because when I observe appears as though it lets go of everything without attachment. Leaves fall, water flows, landscapes erode, rocks break, rain falls, snakes and geckos shed their skin….and caterpillars turn into butterflies. It’s natural to transform…and I can choose to re-define my experience of loss and letting go as a transformation.

In Nature, we have much left to discover and explore. In Nature there is a balance that seems not to require a consciousness…it simply IS. I know that my body is natural and yearning to align with that source…so I believe in transformation. 

Namaste, Blessings, and Love.

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