After a weekend of reevaluating whether or not i’ve shifted my thoughts well enough – more like a weekend of knowing that i HAVEN’T shifted my thoughts/thinking/beliefs quite enough as evidenced by real swelling and pain – I am delighted to remember the work of The Guides and that I am in agreement to whatever is before me, which comes to me for my benefit and offers me the opportunity to unfold… So, yes, i can feel that this pain is what is before me right now and my sensitivity to it, my willingness to engage and be present, release resistance and feel connection – this is my work. and i’m pretty good at it and find it interesting and expansive. I’m not so good at it that it ‘works’ and takes away all my pain, but here it is before me and so i will meet it with curiosity and openness, just the way i want to meet everything (Caroline Casey and the emotional set point of “woof, woof, wanna play?”)
I can get really hard on myself when I forget. When I think my responsibility is to fix myself. when i can point out all of the ways in which i am failing, if life is about comfort at every turn…
I suddenly got very frustrated at the idea of the self help industry selling a ‘life can be a cadence of unceasing abundance, if you just do it right… here, try my way’… it’s no different than the constant growth economic model that’s depleting everything on the planet. All good all the time is actually what is happening, whatever we think of it, but it certainly doesn’t look like it all the time, given the values and expectations we all have in our heads about what is good and what is bad.
It would be lovely to be pain-free, and some days I am pretty close. Today is not one of those days, and I believe a big part of it is the stress I have been putting myself under in this “If i were doing it right, i wouldn’t be in pain… I would be able to cure myself” conversation in my head.
Over the decade plenty of people have intimated the New Age wisdom that it’s all in my thoughts, and if I could clean them up, I’d be well. And, the truth is, through this practice, plenty of my thoughts have shifted and I am weller because of it. Anger and frustration have a quick and noticeable impact on my pain levels, and I’ve gotten much better at identifying and moving through those emotions rather than getting caught in the stories and hanging on to them.
Francis Lucille and his “it’s just ignorance” (which I’ve read plenty of times in spiritual texts) begs the question: then, please, how do I get out of ignorance?
For me, as I make my way through life and navigating my physical challenges, it has to do with relaxing. with remembering wholeness. with consciously connecting to the deep interconnected web of all life. with releasing judgements about what it is supposed to look like or what my experience is supposed to be. being willing and open and curious. with filling my time and mind with possibility and human potential. and for the most part, that keeps my days feeling well-spent.
and then every once in a while, I get caught in this “but if i were doing it right, it would look like this” trap. and maybe that’s true. but I am where I am, and I am doing my best, just like everyone else. I am whole, just as I am. my wholeness is complete whether or not it looks like other visions of wholeness.
it can be confusing, though. I’ll tell you that…