Saturday, April 7, 2012

hello: learning to ride the wave

This week I've been without my trusty map. You know the one: it's been with you forever, you can reference it in your most lost moments, it always seems to be in your back pocket even when you think your back pocket is empty. (Hint: this is a metaphor.)

This week it wasn't there for me. Hard as I looked, I couldn't find it.

I'd been hit by a huge wave, a crushing mass, that came out of nowhere - and inside that wave was all of my self-doubt, the insecurities that haunt me, the anxieties that keep me up at night. Suddenly my internal compass was thrown off, but I couldn't say why. Only the week before I was as sure of myself as ever, and now I found myself at the bottom of all the bits and pieces that add up to who I am. And the bottom of that pile felt messy, suffocating.

When this happens to us, what do we do? We seek, in what feels like the darkest dark, some wisdom on how to find our way again. We seek those things that make our map.

My first map was my freewill astrology horoscope waiting for me in my inbox Tuesday
CAPRICORN: "I couldn't wait for success," said rich and
famous comedian Jonathan Winters, "so I went ahead without it." I love
that approach, and I suggest you try it out. Is there any area of your life
that is held captive by an image of perfection? Consider the possibility
that shiny concepts of victory and progress might be distracting you from
doing the work that will bring you meaning and fulfillment. If you're too
busy dreaming of someday attaining the ideal mate, weight, job, pleasure,
and community, you may miss out on the imperfect but amazing
opportunities that are available right now.

 Ahh yes, read my mind yet again freewill astrology.

This has been part of the roadblock: the dreaded impatience. What is available to me now and does it match what I wish were available to me now? I've been driving myself crazy this week noticing the literal and metaphorical cracks in the walls all around me: literally in the disarray of my house, metaphorically in the disarray of the close relationships in my life.

Freewill tells me to do the work rather than be distracted by the idea of perfection. I was starting to make an attempt when I got distracted by another map...

In a murderous time
   the heart breaks and breaks
      and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
   through dark and deeper dark
      and not to turn.
-Stanley Kunitz
Initially, I did not think this was was the right map, because I recognized this map and it always shows up when I am already lost, it shows up and tempts me to stay lost. It affirms my heartache. It's a companion to grief.

Yet, it also urges me not to turn away.  Both freewill and Kunitz seemed to want me to turn into the dark in order to find my way out of the dark.

This is the struggle I often face when my map is lost: Do I stay put and hope I will find my way out, or do I explore the lost places in order to find my way more fully, both now and long into the future?

I see the things that are bringing me down, they are typical, they are small and big: the world is messed up, my world is messed up; I love what doesn't love me, I will never find the right love, I am the only one alone; my work is not meaningful, my work shouldn't need to mean everything; my house is not perfect, I don't have the ability to make my house perfect, why do I need my house to be perfect; everyone is moving on but me, why can't I be satisfied with stillness, why can't I be satisfied with how things are...

This week my mind has been haunted by all of this.

And then I found a third map - or it found me? I picked up a book, dusty with neglect, and I turned it to a page and the page said to me:

Learn to ride the waves of energy in  your life. Learn to wait for the right time to take action.  Learn to wait until your senses, your emotions, your body, and the universe give you the signal you need.  Yes, you have a list of things you want to do.  But as soon as you have made that list, visualized what you want, you've already begun a powerful force. You've already begun to engage the universe in helping bring you what you want.  There are moments that are more perfect than others to initiate action, to make that phone call, to finish that task. Untimely action will not get the job done any sooner. It will simply waste your energy and send you back to sea, waiting for the right wave. Focus on your goal, muster all your forces, and head out to sea.  Then wait patiently for the right time, for the right energy, for the right wave.

Three maps, are they right? Are they leading me when I need to go?

A breakdown:

Forego perfection for the imperfect but amazing life in front of me.

Venture further inside the heartache (by first admitting I still have some) in order to ever get through the heartache.

Trust that the right wave will come to me when I am ready for it and it is ready for me.

A further breakdown:

Acceptance. Honesty. Hard work. Patience. 

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