Friday, December 17, 2010

Dancing With The Pain

A contemporary Jesuit monk, Sebastian Moore once said, “The simplest form of awakening is … a new, intense sense of self, accompanied with a desire … with the feeling of being a destiny. This condition … cannot be induced. It simply happens. But from time immemorial, in different cultures and religious climates, people have used a method for quieting or simplifying consciousness so that a person may be better disposed for the moment of awakening.”

Now I can’t resist trying to define the steps that quiet the consciousness … mostly because my mind is so noisy at the moment. Noisy with thoughts that alternate from a deep, deep knowing that I am okay, committed to healing and that all is well, to an anxiety born of the gap in communication between Chicago and myself at a time that feels like a crossroad in our dynamic. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WE HAVEN’T EVEN MET YET!

Somehow I invested … or is it that I opened. Premature? Only if I am looking for an outcome, says the wise part of me. “Hard not to,” says the woman who is standing for reciprocity.

Truly I can only accept my feelings here and follow the threads into my past to clear it up. When I get quiet and breathe deep into my core I also know the investment is in MYSELF… an opportunity to know myself in the middle of uncomfortably and choose who I will be. That is a win/win situation no matter what happens. Yet I would be fooling you if I said this was easy.

So before I give you my little map of my steps to anchor in Self let me share the abbreviated version of the past week.

After Chicago’s cancelled trip for our first rendezvous I began to sense a hesitation on his part to reschedule … at least for New Year’s Eve. Now, when he had asked earlier if I had plans for New Year’s, I had assumed that meant he was open to meeting then. At the time I was the one being practical suggesting we meet first and see where that leads us.

But here we were and I was ready to throw caution to the winds and have our first meeting on New Year’s. I mean really it’s as big a set up as meeting for a first date on Valentine’s Day. However he was feeling more and more like an important dear friend so I figured even if we weren’t attracted to each other physically we could have a wonderful time. Starting the New Year without the continued connection of authenticity that we have been sharing just didn’t make sense to me. It was hitting me strangely that he was hesitating.  It felt like a change in direction and I couldn’t follow the logic.

So after alluding to the challenge of flying at Christmas, the heightened costs and the inability to get more time off work he wrote a moving email sharing his inner world.

New Year’s Eve was the night his wife had died some years ago … in his arms … of a heart attack.

Needless to say I softened with compassion and as he took space in what I am assuming is his style of ‘soul searching’ I remained open and supportive. I had noticed how Buns was including The Robert in her celebration of Duncan and reassured Chicago that whatever way he honored his wife would be okay. I guess I was thinking I would be included. It seems to me that when we lose someone the way to keep them alive in our hearts and future is to share them. Inclusion is a big value of mine and honestly I can stretch infinitely if I am a part of the process … I am not so great when I feel excluded.

In the stillness that followed I remembered the woman he had told me about who he had dated and loved after his wife’s passing. She hurt him when she ended it, yet he had accepted the lessons inherent in the interaction, that he was able to love again. I asked some questions about how they had celebrated New Year’s Eve. He said they didn’t. She spent it with other people and he shared how hard that was for him since he had wanted that moment to signify the start of a real relationship between them.

Well that tidbit burrowed its way into my psyche pretty deeply. Couldn’t quite shake the feeling that if he was ready to start the New Year with her then it meant he was ready period and I didn’t get why that was suddenly different this year.

Was it because I was actually available?

That was the only factor that my intuitive - on overdrive - brain could come up with.

I asked him if it was possible that he had unconsciously picked this girl to “love” after his wife’s death because she was unavailable. It would make sense in that he would never attain her and therefore never have to betray his love for his wife.

I suppose if he was giving me more internal information on his process I could have stretched to understand him, but I was on my own here and this is where I went, right or wrong.

Can you tell that even sharing this with you I can wind myself up with my theories ... imagine if you will the conclusions I could come to all on my own here based on them … and then imagine the reactive actions I could take to protect myself from being hurt … a dangerous, one-sided situation with a big missing component … Chicago’s reality.

I do trust on some level that he will consider what I have asked and help me understand the situation in a way that will make sense to me.

I may not like it. I may make choices based on his choices, for sure. That’s part of what I am learning in this interaction … that’s its not just what people say that’s important but what they do as well. I am also learning to stand for what I want, to name it and have my actions in alignment with those values.

Basically I am in the unknown … an uncomfortable place at the best of times. Here is what I do whenever I get confused. I ask myself…What do I know to be true?

The following map is the way I get to that answer.

Here are the steps I use to quiet my conscious mind and remember that all is well no matter what.

1. Breath deep - Keep the focus inside of my skin, in my body, feeling my feelings.

2. Follow the feelings to my past and correct any beliefs about myself or others that I may have made back then.

3. Remember that his choices mean nothing about me. This activation is benefiting me, showing me myself.

4. I teach the world how to treat me based on how I treat myself.

5. Accept what is. Notice what is happening with neutrality and make choices for myself that are in alignment with my values and what I stand for.

6. Go Big!

Now this last point will differ for everyone. You have to find something outrageous and out of the box, preferably something physical that stretches your body out of its comfort zone. So I will offer you my current favorite. For me it’s often some current, inappropriate and politically incorrect song.

I turn it up REALLY LOUD and allow myself to feel wild with desire and simply juiced about life and its possibilities, even if I hurt … including my hurt. I feel it in my core as I dance and that invites a shift in perception.

Here I am and I am alive and vibrant!
Present time!

So while I don’t know if Chicago and I will see each other on New Year’s…what I do know is I am not waiting to live …

I know that I will continue to give all I have to give. Nothing can limit that except my belief in my smallness or my fears and contractions. I refuse.

Focusing on what he decides leaves me feeling powerless.

Focusing on what I want and how I celebrate leaves me feeling empowered. And all I can tell you for sure is celebrate I will!

It’s a New Year and I am ready.

Are you? Get the volume up loud and promise me at least one college try of full-out dancing silliness … you too Buns … if you only listen, it doesn’t work. You have to pretend that its 1984 (or whatever year from your past you really let it rip) … okay?

Body abandon and dancing into the pain … it’s part of being human … Be willing to be silly!


  1. Keeping your heart open even in the midst of pain is the key to living babe. Keep it open. Love lovely

  2. Thanks honey. You mean the world to me.
    love Marty