Wednesday, January 10, 2018

An Echo of Something I Once Knew

Back and forth. That's how I've felt for years. Write. Don't write. Write. Read. Make Art. Don't write. Forget about it. Make Music. Do it for yourself. Do it for others. Do it to make a statement. Do it to make a million bucks.

Answers are given if you're brave enough to ask the questions. Pathways are exposed if you look close enough. I've been sitting with a lot of questions these past few weeks. Just before Christmas and into the New Year.  The same questions I've asked again and again and again and this time, this time, I heard something.

Oh it wasn't a booming voice from heaven. It was more like an echo of something I once knew. Why now, though? Seriously. Why not the years and years of asking?

I believe the answer is in the asking. Now hold on before you run off. Think about how you ask for things. Some questions are asked meekly. Some, boldly. Some are more like demands and others are a beggar's pleading. I've done them all. Especially that whole sniveling, begging thing. Ugh.

This time I sat with the questions of writing and thinking and wondering and art and ...

... OK, here's where it gets bit weird ...

... I didn't ask at all.

I just sat. When you've spent your entire life asking the same questions it's time to STOP ASKING.  Even if, especially if, you haven't got the answers yet. Well, you just THINK you haven't gotten the answers yet. I'm going to tell you a secret: If you, like me, have always asked yourself the same questions about life - YOUR life - without feeling like you've received a concrete answer, YOU'RE WAITING FOR A FEELING AND NOT AN ACTUAL ANSWER. 

You already have the answers.

No really. If you didn't you would keep asking the same questions. You just haven't gotten the answers you want.

...

Let that sink in. I'll wait. It took me a minute to process.

...

Yoga teaches us to sit with thoughts until they feather away into the ether. Meditation teaches us to let the thought work itself around in our imaginations until it extracts an answer. Depth Psychology asks us to dig deep, to stop sitting on the surface, grab a shovel and go.

Yoga teaches us to be pliable, to stretch and bend and not break. Meditation teaches us to allow our minds to be stronger than the hounding of the outside world. Depth Psychology asks us to get dirty and mess things up.

You're going to get dirt under your nails.
You're going to uproot things.
You're going to kill insects and worms and small plants not yet established.
You're going to hit rocks and clay and sand.
You're probably going to sink up to your chin in a bunch of muck and gunk that you've got to pull out with your bare hands.

Then and only then will you get to the bedrock - that unshakable, unmovable layer of yourself that is YOU, the you you thought you've been waiting to discover but that has actually been there the whole time.

As we're still getting acquainted with this New Year I challenge you to uncover what questions you've been asking yourself for years, perhaps, like me, decades. Then, I challenge you to sit with them and let them grow and blossom and lead you to the spot in the forest. There's a shaft of sunlight shining there, Dear Heart. And there's a shovel.

Start digging.

xo 
Jen
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Photos taken at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina October 2017

5 comments:

  1. That statement: You haven't gotten the answer you want. That is so true. We do know. If we're willing to listen. Thanks for your thoughtful words today. I hope you embrace the answer that you heard. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Lady. That was the key for me: realizing that the answer I had wasn't the answer I wanted. Then again, when I really thought about it, the answer I thought I wanted wasn't what I wanted at all! It's what I thought I SHOULD want. Complicated, but accurate. Happy New Year!!!

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  2. I wish I knew what it meant for me. Like you I have not only danced but FORCED things into existence without any feeling of completion. Sometimes I think my calling is to simply be incomplete. To be lonely. Not in a relational way, but in every other way. A lowly housewife, homeschool mother who is a jack if all trades and a master of none. The weirdo who can't even make adult friends in the weirdo adult homeschool movement. The dark soul who is laughed at by judgemental pricks because "darkness cannot exist in the light." The independent woman who can't relate to the independent women around me because I can't work. I'm bored. I'm lonely. I'm desperate (not a desperate housewife). I'm spinning in circles, slamming my head against the wall (along with my fists) all because I am no one in a world I so desperately want to be accepted by...any part of that world. I'm thankful you found your answer or the lack there of being such. I cant hear anything more than my mind speaking over itself; never completing a single thought. No amount of yoga or meditation or medication has been able to stop it. If you have even an iota of clarity on me and who I am and where I should be, please share. I can tell the world about anyone I come into contact with, yet I can't see myself in a mirror.

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    1. There's nothing wrong with being a housewife and a homeschool mom. There's not one once of truth in that statement. We can't have light if we don't have darkness. Without the darkness we would't know what the light was or even if we wanted it. I write horror. I know these things ;). Stop looking to BELONG in the world and just belong with yourself. Trust me. I fought for years to be SOMEONE to be SOMETHING and I've finally realized that the best thing to do is to be ME, even if I'm not 100% sure of who or what that is. Yoga and meditation aren't immediate answers. They take time and require a commitment for the long haul. They are up there with every alternative therapy. Our modern mindsets say they won't "allow" us to heal but we have no choice but to take the time to heal. And you don't have to be accepted by the world at large. Because it will never accept you. The world doesn't accept people who aren't exactly what they want (and even those people aren't truly what the world wants, they just are willing to play the game). Breathe. Really breathe and stop trying to be anything you think the "world" wants you to be. It's not worth it. <3

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