“I have laid my weapons down, but I am still around.” From the song “Look Long”
Someone texted me this song not too long ago. I’d heard it before, but never really listened to the words. That part had my tears roll down. That’s where I am. Where I’ve been the past few years. I’ve had my sword out swinging my whole life. It exhausted me, and I was not able to successfully lick my wounds that way.
I know what I am currently doing, healing/growing, is important. I know where I buried my sword, too. I will be here for now. I’ll be in love. I will continue my actions & I don’t need to ever start talking the talk.
“The Earth lives within us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the Earth, ultimately you are doing to yourself” – Ian Somerhalder
“Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.” Carl Jung
“Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.43
I used to beat myself up over being so analytical. I claimed myself an “over thinker”. Maybe I was at times. OK, not maybe. There was a lot of time spent worrying about the possibilities of dangers, judgements, etc. That was definitely a toxic way of living. Now, though, I appreciate the way my brain works. It can be overwhelming at times, sometimes lonely when not understood, but it hasn’t felt toxic for a long time.
Anyway, my analytical self wanted to detach from the outside noise. Our family was overdue for some camping connection. We connect fully with nature and each other when we go off the grid.
What I didn’t see coming was the grief and tears that unpacked from me. It wasn’t “negative” feeling; just uncomfortable. It came in waves. I also felt pure love and connection to the now, which also came in waves. I’m seeing how interesting that was in hindsight. The weather was bright, sunny, and very warm for hours, but then the thunderstorms would roll in for an hour or so. I wasn’t going through anything much different than the mountain and river was.
I haven’t exactly put my finger on what I was going through, but it felt like, or feels like, grief. It feels productive, though. I know I’m digging deep into myself, and I’m looking at the things about myself that I need some serious growth in. I still have a lot of work to do. Lifelong work. I have also come a very long way.
So now I share some of my iPhone photos from our visit “home”.
I feel my truest surrounded by nature. Especially by/in moving water. One of the natural side effects is feeling the connection of interbeing more clearly.
“You are me, and I am you. Isn’t it obvious that we “inter-are”? You cultivate the flower in yourself, so that I will be beautiful. I transform the garbage in myself, so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you; you support me. I am in this world to offer you peace; you are in this world to bring me joy.”
(from “Call me by My True Names – The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh”, Parallax Press, 2005.)
When you feel like you’re doing so much (while trying to stay sane), but the narrative is saying you’re not doing enough.
I read a great essay from Charles Eisenstein earlier this week. It was titled In a Rhino, Everything. It was written in 2016. The classmate, mentioned in the quote below, was minimizing something his friend was upset about. She was really angry with him, but she was trying to understand what had him seeing things the way he did.
“The kindness my friend shows her classmate and the desire to understand his experience of the world translates onto the level of systems and politics. What is the story our opponents stand in, the perpetrators, the ones we want to blame? What kind of life experience attracts them to that story? What are the secret ways that it lives in ourselves? When we know what it is like to be them, we will be far more capable of disrupting the narratives that scaffold our world-destroying machine. This is called compassion. It isn’t a substitute for strategy and action. It illuminates new strategies and makes all action more effective, because we can target them at the deep causes rather than forever battling the symptoms.” Charles Eisenstein
I like his description of all the things in our world that need to change & grow, being the “unholy matrix”. They share a connection. We are doing our part for positive evolution when we work on any of it. I can also relate to his thoughts on getting to the roots of understanding others’ perspectives in order to create meaningful changes vs solely dealing with the symptom. This is no different than how I see treating the body.
This doesn’t mean being passive, but we need the weavers. We also need deep personal healing. All things necessary. Everyone has their different strengths and different experiences that matter, too.
I’m not making a statement, really. Being kind is killer advice, but I understand how this statement could be debated, depending on the context. It is a reminder for me, though. This includes being a reminder to be kind to myself.
I looked over when I heard her stop talking for her toys.
My little pony and her curvy, freckled Barbie, were keeping her company while she sat there to just be. I love how present she is. She’s not stressing the past. She’s not trying to predict her future. Yes, I do take notes. And today, I plan to join her.