A mirror asked me yesterday to look & see ‘how self-involved & invoking of my own continued victimization’ I am – ‘Nobody does it to you Hazel, it is you yourself & over & over & over again, & it is insatiable…Until you work on your own victimization there isn’t a possibility of working together with anyone else. Hazel, you need support to stop victimizing yourself. No one can do anything about it & others cannot allow you to continue to set fires around them. You need support. Where will you get this from? It is not about one on one with anyone you have these issues with. It is something more’…
This is a scary realization. But I am thankful for the mirror, for I am a striving human being, & I have been working to heal this wound for a long time, & yet it still festers & causes pain to me & to others around me.
But I don’t think self-isolation is the only place where the healing can occur, at this time of the consciousness soul it must be done in the social realm.
And so I ask myself: Where is my safe circle? And where I am with the commitment to dedicate my life to keeping my heart & mind open to nurturing compassion, with the longing to ease personal & collective suffering, a reflection of the suffering of the world? Where am I with my resolve to embrace the world just as it is, without bias?
Only by completely, directly touching the reality of what’s going on inside me can I embrace the bitterness, the fundamental pain of life, just as readily as I long to embrace the sweetness, the wholeness, the tolerance, the healing.
But when the world situation is as unstable as it is today – it’s very hard to stay grounded, & the outside pressures push against personal weakness. The intensity of life nowadays is triggering high levels of anxiety & inner unrest in me, creating the ideal environment for either a leap into the abyss, a self-conflagration, or a true sea change – a test of initiation.
So how do I develop compassion, for myself & others? How do I cultivate trust & kindness in the middle of all of this turmoil?
I must turn toward it with a different attitude. Every day is an opportunity to practice. Whether I’m irritated & anxious because things aren’t flowing as I would like, or I’m overwhelmed by illness, or feverish flashbacks of past hurts, it’s all an opportunity to wake up, to grow, to change, to face the mirror.
How can I take my meditative practice out into my relationships, out into my community, out into the world? Can I craft it in small bits thru out the day, with the attitude that I’m standing confidently in the center of my life taking it as a training ground.
Where are my allies? My trusted friends – did I drive them all away? This is a time when we must create the safe sacred space together…Did I burn all the bridges? Can I have hope that I will be given another chance, that I will be accepted even as I am?
For me there is a fundamental anxiety to being human. This anxiety, this queasiness in the face of hopelessness is not something that just affects a few of us. It is an all-pervasive state that all human beings share which can make us turn away from each other. What if instead we said, “Yes, this is the way it is; this is what it is to be human.”, & decide to embrace the mirror of each other?
When I am feeling helpless, I am learning that one way to deal with that edgy, uneasy feeling is to take a breath: Acknowledging the feeling, give it my full, compassionate, even welcoming attention – &, even if it’s only for a few seconds, drop the story line about the feeling. With the hope that this allows me to have a direct experience of it, free of interpretation.
Can I learn not to fuel it with concepts or opinions, or defensiveness? Can I just be present with the reality of my weakness, my brokenness, my humanness? To be gentle around the wound I see in myself, & how it triggers the wound in others? The wound that we came into this life to heal? The karma that follows us & binds us from life to life…? Who is willing to do the work with me?
To experience this uneasiness, this anxiety, this aloneness, can manifest as everything from slight edginess to sheer terror, & it makes us feel vulnerable, which of course nobody likes. Vulnerability comes in many guises. We may feel off balance if we don’t know what is going on, don’t have a handle on things, don’t feel safe. We may feel lonely or depressed or angry. Ready to blame the other. So easy to see the log in their eye but not the beam in our own…Most of us want to avoid emotions that make us feel vulnerable, so we’ll do almost anything to get away from them, to get away from people like me that are lightning rods for this.
We do have a choice. We can run away. It’s often healthy to set boundaries. But for those that are called to face our karmic relationships, do we want to spend our whole life rejecting suffering because we don’t feel safe with how things are, how others make us feel? Unless we apply ‘How We Will’ to the personal sphere we cannot change the world.
Can I embrace the open-mindedness of the human situation, which can be fresh, unfixed, unbiased? Can I suffer gladly the consequences of my actions & the reactions that I invoke & call forth in others -This is the challenge. This is the process of unmasking, of letting go-& letting come, of opening the mind & the heart, of recognizing old patterns & bringing compassion to ourselves, & to our shared human condition. Just as it is. We are on the Grail Road after all…
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