This is a post I've been meaning to write for many weeks, even before my Grandfather's stay in the hospital became worrisome. I've been working on figuring out what the meaning of all of the things that have come to pass since the year changed over and, like fitting pieces of a puzzle together, it is beginning to form a message.
I have never been this sick for this long without a break. What came up first was the usual program of taking a couple of days rest to get better, with plans to quickly return to business as usual. When that didn't work out, futile resistance kicked in. Then denial. Then a major health crisis. I began to practice more regular self-care, releasing my art and business goals for the quarter, allowing myself to neglect e-courses and other commitments and eventually was able to come to terms with that without too much anxiety. Each time I think I'm getting a bit better, the symptoms cycle around and it seems to begin again. In a strange and unexpected way, I'm learning how to be very specific about my expectations of myself. I'm imagining that in the coming months, many of the things I once spent time doing, will have fallen away. I believe I will uncover, in time, what is underneath my inability to fend off the attacking viruses and infections. There is a key I wish to find that will help me address the root of the string of illnesses, and my hope is that I can heal holistically. This medicine has really been about infinite surrender and rest.
Before I all but abandoned the e-course I'd been participating in, one of the questions asked of me was essentially "What isn't working in your life?". And so I made a long and hearty list of all of the tangible, surface aspects of my world that I'd been merely tolerating with a bee in my bonnet to start crossing them off of my list as I reconfigured my daily life. These things ran the gamut from banking receipts piling up to our shoddy meal plans for the week. Simple things needed makeovers. This is important stuff for sure. Little distractions can really keep me from moving forward in my life. I realized that the journal I'd purchased for the course had the word FREE written on the front cover. Did I feel I was in some sort of trap? I began to feel as if this list focused on symptoms. Like my unwellness, I want to dig deeper to understand the cause of my behavior which results in things that don't work for me. It allowed me to say no to a project I nearly agreed to before I realized it was not in alignment with my deeper purposes. This medicine has been about making choices in the moment that serve my long vision outlook of how I'd like to live.
Unable to work as I had been, I purged my home, our garage, and my art supplies of unwanted items in the little pockets of time before my new curfew. I revisited the past while holding up things which may have once held a sentiment. I realized that sometimes we humans substitute objects or even achievements for feelings and I lingered in this idea for some time. It caused me to take a look at my workaholism, my strong drive to establish my place in the arts community, my willingness to trade my wellness in order to quantify something in my memory as worthwhile. This felt very uncomfortable, and hit right about the time the sinus infection was shifting into bronchitis. Why are my expectations of myself so high? Where does this drive, which is applauded in our society, come from? I realized that when I'm not achieving or improving, I feel anxious. Getting things done makes the bad feelings go away. My awareness that something in this model is amiss led me to feel like there are obstacles clogging up the channels within me. This medicine has been about flow, and releasing false ideas about what makes me and my life worthwhile.
And then...Grandpa. I sat after his memorial with all of my feelings about his long life. I thought about what I imagined his regrets to be and held them up against my own expectations for myself. I remembered his sweetness and simplicity and let tears of missing his voice create openings with which to hear his messages to me. I looked to my tools and wondered how I would discover what it is I need to know.
I flipped through my journal to a question I'd not been able to answer, and laughed and cried my way to this:
What is your deepest human intent?
I found that it has nothing to do with art, money, locations, or identity, and yet it speaks to all of those things. What I heard coming forth was that my deepest human intent is to keep moving along the spirit road, learning more about how to love unconditionally, to be in harmony with all people, to keep the channels unclogged, to heal myself when needed and to charge myself up in order to spread peace, humor and nurturing as far as I can reach.
And so a great death is happening. A great, thick skin is sloughing off that I have been dragging around. A warm clarity is washing through me and for the moment, I do not feel clogged. I am content not to push, to let things BE, and to forget about time and its many restrictions and all of the things I cannot control. I release fear about what might happen if I don't check things off of lists.
Some parts of me are dying-some old parts that have been yearning to have permission to be let go for some time. They are not going quietly! And there will be no business-as-usual to return to. My thought is that if it's happening to me...it might be happening for you, too.
In this cosmos where everything seems to be connected, that would make perfect sense.