Saturday, January 14, 2012

the camel, the lion, the child

I’ve been chewing on something for quite awhile without resolution. A friend suggested I allow myself to just be the space for the discomfort yet my mind keeps analyzing which I know comes from ego. Yet, it is still niggling so I am going to give it a whirl. Someone commented here that my blog is like her journal writings. Quite a compliment. My intent is to offer my musing with two purposes, to share what I have learned and hopefully expedite someone else’s release into unconditional love and out of suffering and to share our unity, our connection our common humanity. Dig a little deeper, and I think inside we are all more or less the same regarding our deepest desires and hurts.
So I have been exploring a theme and still feel I am missing a piece of the puzzle. It is about withdrawal, extension, saying no and saying yes. I realize for me it is a paradox with no simple solution. In simple terms, when I withdraw from life, say no to whatever doesn’t feel good I am able to reach peace and neutrality. All it takes is that I remain in silence on my sacred land and seldom interact with others- peace. My internal demons are mostly conquered. It is the demons that come up in reaction to others that still plague me. 
So just now, someone was blaming me for losing something I never touched- big reaction. So then I tend to make myself wrong for my reaction, for not being an angel, for being pissed off. Doesn’t get me anywhere. In this case the other person backed off and we both returned to a more companionable energy. Seems like I’d be in great shape if everybody would just leave me alone. And I have needed more or less years of solitude to conquer my inner demons. The first 27 or so years of my life I was wild, free, sad, devastated, alive. I experimented with everything. Then I spent the time of the next Saturn return immersed in two long term relationships. I lost myself in them in so many ways. Yet I learned to say no, to stand up for my own needs, to take care of myself. This was super hard for me even with people who really drained my energy. Now it is automatic and relatively effortless yet I still don’t feel complete.
I recognize I feel most mySelf when I am extending myself in love. Not waiting to get it from someone else, not needing anything, extending love from my own fullness, feeling unity with all I meet, recognizing my connection with others and responding in the moment, then moving on to the next experience without thought. This is where I am now. One step forward, two back. I get caught in neediness, in rejection, in withdrawal, in anger, in self judgment. My biggest challenge right now is accepting this is where I am. I am not unconditionally loving, I am not often “good.” Being good had been the monkey on my back most of my life- coming from being raised Catholic, TRYING to be spiritual, sensing the Truth without fulling embodying it. I make myself wrong for still being human. Time to jettison that one. I will be human for as long as I live so I better get used to it. Yet I have heard it said, I think quoted by the poet David Whyte: “Why are you so unhappy, why are you so unhappy? Because 99.999% of everything you say and everything you do is about yourself... And there isn’t one.” I remember reading in Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance the need to extend ourselves to experience wholeness. In our own timing, with whom and when to extend love is our choice. Yet I know that it is only in unconditional love that I fully find that which I AM. Author Rachael Naomi Remen said, “One moment of unconditional love may call into question a lifetime of feeling unworthy and invalidate it.” Yes, I feel this when I either give or receive such love. Yet what happens when the love I give or receive is conditional, as is so often the case? The thing I am learning is the only response that is genuine is to allow it to break my heart open. I feel this so often and the difference is that I want to allow it ever more deeply, ever more completely. Only this, breaking open. Thich Nhat Hahn says, “When you say something like (I love you)... With your whole being not just your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world.” Tara Brach said, “When we pay careful attention, we see every person as an expression of the love and goodness we cherish. Then every being becomes the  Beloved.” And a quote from her book she attributes to Anonymous, 
“I sought my god, 
My god I could not see
I sought my soul. 
My soul eluded me,
 I sought my brother,
And found all three”
I pulled a card from my Osho “Zen Tarot” deck today called Rebirth. It talks about three levels of consciousness as described by Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spake  Zarathustra: the camel, the lion, the child. The camel is sleepy and lives in delusion, thinking himself high up yet really losing most of his energy to the opinions of others. The lion learns to say no to what others demand of us when we realize how much we have been missing in life. I know my wasband went through this dramatically and that sure helped me wake up too. I have also been living in this space of honoring my own truth, moving away from the crowd- most of my life- alone and proud. The last phase is the child, not rebellious or in agreement, rather true to him/herself, innocent and spontaneous. This is what I am slowly emerging into- not reactive, not needing to explain, not needing to withdraw. Able to enter the fray without reacting. Able to be in previously challenging situations with no charge coming up in my body. To feel a deep sense of love arising and moving from that place.This for me is true liberation. This for me is where I feel most myself. Now to allow myself to have a foot in both lion and child with occasional moments of camel thrown in, without judgment, without guilt- ah, this is true freedom! To know unconditional love is all that matters to me and yet to truly forgive myself and others when we invariably fall short. To be able to celebrate and dance unity even when in error, aye, this is good!

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