What If?

 

The light is shining so brightly these days

Upon my very soul

I’ve been moving furniture

Out of my temple and into the yard

The furniture looks like crap

And dammit, now it’s there for all to see

*

Inside my soul is dancing

Something is alive and celebrating the demise

Of the hiding from light

Of the believing of lies

Of the self-created stories that turn into nightmares when I am pretending I am separate

My soul says YES

Even as my eyes release tears and my heart is bursting

Even as I rage and try to convince my lover that I am too difficult, too complicated and too damaged to love

He sees me in a different light than I can see myself

A thick cloud of doubt surrounds me sometimes

When I get very, very close to someone

When I begin to feel trust

My guards want to protect me:

Scared Sally, Angry Annie, Jealous Jenny, Distant Deb, Hateful Helga

The names help **

I say “hi”

I say “Will you walk with me, stay close, but let me handle it this time?  I know you want to protect me.  Thank you so much for arriving when I needed you, when I didn’t know how to handle the obstacles.  I have learned so much since you joined me, though.  I think I know another way now.  You don’t have to leave me, you don’t have to die, just rest now, here – inside my heart.”

And I walk in to his life

And I connect

And I am so close, so close

To peeling back a thick layer of protection that looks and smells like jaded disappointment and cynicism.  It’s heavy and cumbersome, but also familiar like a childhood blanket

I want to open this door, and let all my love pour out onto him

Into his life

Into our moments

Into something real that we are creating

The question for me is “What if?”

Because I’m almost there, but not quite

Maybe I’m someone

Who needs more convincing, reminding and reassuring than others

And maybe

I’m just right

*

 

** The book The Dark Side of The Light Chasers by Debbie Ford speaks extensively on loving our shadows and self-compassion.  I highly recommend it.  The naming of my shadows comes from that book, and I find it to be a very useful tool.

 

Down the Rabbit Hole

 

I want intimacy to be easy and effortless.  I want it to feel natural and comfortable.  I want it to make me feel secure.  I want it to satiate me.

But intimacy has another plan!

Intimacy says, “Come here, come into the land of the unknown, let’s tear down your expectations, your assumptions and your misgivings.  Let’s scrape the paint of falsehood off your pride so that it glows again.  Forget the self.  Forget what you think you want.  Let your senses awaken to what is happening now, let that be enough.  Let the truth of you be enough.  Let the truth of him or her or them be enough.  Let WHAT IS be enough.”

I am enough.  This is enough.

I am.  This is.

But I want it to look and feel a different way.

What about the fairytale ending?  What about unwavering bliss?  What about “finding happiness”, like it is a landmark we have discovered, conquered and can now capitalize upon?  What about my twin flame, my soulmate, the one who completes me?  Don’t I deserve that?

Intimacy is laughing.  “Do you know who you are, child?”

We imagine that we are lost.  We imagine that we are not whole.

We imagine that we have to struggle, suffer and endure in order to be rewarded.  We imagine that we have enemies.  We imagine that we are too complicated, too sensitive, too ugly, too much of a work-in-progress to be received fully as ourselves.

We imagine that we have to bargain for our happiness.

We imagine that we have many flaws and all of them need fixing.

We imagine that there is a better version of who we are now.

We keep striving.

What has been forgotten?  What awareness is underneath the bullshit, the chatter, the distraction, the noise?

Intimacy is relaxed, watching me wonder.  A bemused smile crosses its lips as it sees my thoughts churning – “I’m going to figure myself out, fix myself and become an expert on love and romance before I dare get close to another human.”

Intimacy says, “Nice try, kid.  Here, have another helping of this thing called Life.”

*

My thoughts carry me back to that day, not so long ago, sitting in the sun across the table from him and sipping coffee.  It was already over; we both knew it.  But here we were again, sharing more magical moments.

And then his words came crashing down:

“What did you think was going to happen?”

He said it so casually, his voice tinged with pity for my ignorance, but still swaddled in kindness and caring because that’s just how he is.

In that moment, he felt sorry for me.  He thought we were grown-ups, having a grown-up romance, steeped in impartial maturity.  An arrangement, not a relationship – at least not the kind that can be defined.

What could I say?  Of course I didn’t think anything was going to happen.  What could possibly happen?  I’d be delusional to imagine a life together.  I’d be crazy to think that the love in my heart had anywhere to nest with him.  

The house of cards tumbled down in those moments.

The fantasy went POP!

But the blade of his words were stinging on my heart.

There had been a dream of soft sand, and sunshine, and togetherness and kisses and feeling understood, feeling wanted, needed and loved.

I walked away that day.  There were a few more ending conversations, promises to remain close friends, but my heart was done.  I was so, so tired.

It has taken time to remove the fish hooks of his love and the story I wove with him.  There’s still some in there, I can feel it.

They hooked right onto these other fish hooks that have been there much longer, the ones that trigger grief and abandonment, “daddy-issues” and all these ways I am harboring pain.

And since the band-aids don’t work anymore, I feel like I have but one option:

Heart alchemy.

*

My new lover is willing to walk on the gravelly rocks of intimacy

barefoot

with me.

I’ll be honest – it’s kind of freaking me out.

I want to shoulder the sharp edges of my reality for him.

Let me hide this suffering so we can pretend

it’s only the soft sand and the breeze and the

waves on our naked skin.

But no, the naked heart is far more jagged

and intricate

and full of promise

than those fleeting moments of delight.

I’ll admit,

I don’t totally understand his willingness

and I question my ability to stay in this space

with him.

When offered fight or flight —

I fly like a bird.

I circle from a distance.

But I am searching

for a place to call home

and nest.

 

This lover is somewhat fearless

of the shadows and the jagged edges.

This lover has me feeling very curious,

indeed.

 

 

Shadow Men

The men of shadows like me

Because I know how to dance in their dark streets with my light

and I am unafraid of their secrets

Out of curiosity, compulsion and naivety

I have wandered into their inner chambers

Craving the pull, but all the while a sinking feeling

and trying to ignore it

Craving the story

‘cause I saw it in a movie

And every form of media

and residual karma

*

But it doesn’t take long

for the windows to disappear

and for the reek of loneliness to fill the stale air

Your internal temperature gets colder,

the closer you get to a man like this

And when you arrive as far as he will let you in

you might feel lost while looking at your reflection

*

What were you seeking when you traveled so far away

from safety and from love?

An experience that leaves your soul feeling weathered and torn

rather than comforted and cared for?

You knew –

it would end this way

leave you feeling this way

You knew,

but something drew you in

and you wanted the poison instead of the Prasad

*

Like a Siren’s call, you were called

to these shadow men

The Everything in you trying to understand itself

Feeling yourself the lowest of the low,

you ate garbage and developed

sunken eyes

Yet still, somehow you managed

to preserve your ember

while entering the mouth of the Wolf

That place where you have to die to survive

and break your promises or at least

omit the truth

Lest everything you love get stolen

broken or desecrated

That place will forever remind you

that things can always get worse

And you must find your way out of this mess

*

Your breath becomes shallow

A listlessness begins choking you

You are defeated by the lies you kept telling yourself,

now disappointing and shabby in the light of day

While the good people of the world

have coffee and dreams and commitments they love to keep

You have this –

shadow to reckon with

And you feel tired

like you spent all night digging yourself

another grave

*

*

Time, great healer

Wash me in your Ocean

Ring me out like the robes you will have me wear

when I meet you at last, for tea

*

*

She walks alone and alone

She walks alone and not alone

She stops pretending to know everything and she becomes

a beginner, what an honor

She left the dark streets

and dark avenues

full of tempting, lurking shadow men

The ones who made her look angelic,

if only for a little while

She found this path, instead

High into the mountains

Take off your shoes

*

The Gurus appear in her dreams

when she walks this way

up the many steps

in the misty grey morning

Up the many steps,

she is visually hydrated

by the bright green moss and wild foliage,

all covered with dew

The moist, cool air

filling her nostrils with the fragrance of clean, dark earth

Tiny white flowers

singing praises with her crumbling identity

and ecstatic heart

*

Oh Deathless One,

these shadow men

They just can’t light my fire

like You

*