Isn’t always a big day when we get back to what we think of as “our lives.” Seems a silly disconnect, or perhaps dangerous, to see “play” as abnormal and routine as self-evident. This dichotomy sat on my mind often this weekend, as I worked very hard at play. I took care of business among the trees, insects, and free from motorcycles or television. Finding a type of escape in “early to bed and early to rise” even though that is my MO these days. “Learn by doing,” thus making doing, learning. This weekend ended up being a great teacher.
Why I was apprehensive about building sawhorses from scratch? I’ll never fully understand, and my first efforts are a little more wobbly than I would consider excellent. Yet, once started, I felt at ease with the flow and feedback. I cut some of the lumber the night before, but I had finished two sawhorses by noon. A point of pride for sure, but not every experience had a healthy attachment.
Some things I didn’t want to learn. Like, how I can still scare someone with memories alone, and how much damage being abusive does to ourselves.
Sometimes, the only place for comfort after those types of revelations is to know that you are home. While it is true that I feel at home within myself these days, I refer to the feeling I received after looking to the front of a place considered a source of great joy and escape, realizing that the paradigm has shifted to comfort and familiarity. A pride we get when we protect and nurture something dear to us began to grow. To seek escape from the bustle of BBBBQ only to realize that you are home is something I didn’t expect.
The moment of realization was after listening to some Ani (“Joyful Girl”). Tears still drifting across my cheeks while looking into the fire, the short films of beautiful memories drifting through my mind while perusing the Living in Clip discs. With a simple look to the cabin’s front door and porch I realized I was home.
If some of you haven’t gathered, I cry all the time. Not from sadness always. Sometimes from sadness but, by and large, I cry from being overwhelmed by emotional release.
A friend recently asked me how I managed to turn my health, attitude, and psychology around so quickly. I compare this to the moment someone realizes a lie. When a person realizes what they are hearing or seeing isn’t true, it is like a light turning on inside their minds. This was true for my self loathing. During meditation, a sick mind is an evil thing. It is a hateful liar. Fortunately for me I realized the lie after a few weeks of mindful practice, which can condition the mind to let things go. This “letting go” allows for clarity to fill the mind. Armed with a clear mind, I heard the lie: I am not worthy of fulfillment, of income, of being chosen by someone, being a good father, pursuing my dreams, being healthier. This isn’t half of the loathing and disgust with myself a wore daily. I had carried some of these dark traits for thirty years. When you are considered sinful by your religion, fat and unhealthy as an eight year old, but told you are special by family and respected among peers, one becomes confused. Your spiritual and actualized self image says you are sick and wrong. My resulting behavior was resentment.
Resentment for my environment and my internal perception. All the compliments in the world can’t fix that. All the devotion from potential mates won’t make you feel better. Even the love from your child becomes something to fear, as anxiety from what you aren’t grabs the wheel in attempt to show you why you don’t deserve this gesture of love. I don’t know how I survived to tell you the truth. I never contemplated suicide seriously, as I knew I was here to be punished, and I had to stick it out for my portion of torture. I would hide behind the thought “I’m not going commit suicide because that is to let the universe win.” This was a lie. I didn’t deserve such an easy way out, that was my truth.
So, I am sure you can all appreciate at what level this kind of hatred does to one’s emotions when you let go. Imagine hating anyone or anything for thirty years. I hated an enemy for three decades, only to realize that that enemy is a chimera. Once I had let go of that hatred and realized it’s fallacy, the emotional flood gates opened, in and out.
I begin to fill with caring and love for myself. Stress and pain began to flow out. This process is still ongoing, and I am not sure if or when it will slow down, not sure it needs to change, but like the rest of life—it will change. I don’t even know what I am capable of yet, don’t think I would want to know, as a discovery of wonder from within myself occurs daily. Makes for great days.