11/19/2013

A Little Dab Will Do You

Early mornings sitting in my recliner with the heated throw wrapped around my legs and hips, with the back massager going full force, the vibrating sounds making me all but deaf...my fingers swollen and painful--this is my reality. Others pour me coffee and boy, we make sure I never drink out of a regular glass or cup with no lid. I already dump the spill proof cup several times a week, leaving interesting stains across the carpet, the chair, the bed linen, sometimes the books that pile up around wherever I spend my time.

It's quiet now, except for the loud vibrating noise between my back and the chair and the fans that are running, to keep air flowing around and to create noise to drown out the tinnitus that plagues me. I use the massage cushion enough that I hear the vibrating noise even when it's not on--I now have my own internal white noise machine.

Rick has left for work already, the kids are still asleep, the cats are nowhere to be seen, the yorkie is lying on Rick's bed, and it's almost as if I am alone in the house. Almost. Hmmm.

Solitude is something that shouldn't be taken for granted, that should be savored. This opportunity doesn't come often enough: the chance to sit in relative silence, in relative aloneness and practice one's breathing (love you, Rose, for your reminders that mindfullness is important and worth taking the time on) and working on changing old patterns of thought and behavior (love you, Kathleen, for your support and insistence that change is good and right).

Lately it seems as if the universe is conspiring to remind me of lessons once learned and then forgotten. From loving friends to books to even the most unlikely television shows, gentle shoves have been coming at me, telling me I got off my path, got caught up in the whirlwind of life, started resisting it instead of leaning into it.

Leaning into it, embracing the experience, living it, feeling it and moving through it...instead of walling myself off and trying to go numb.

Another dear friend (M) told me to scream awhile back, and Kathleen suggested it recently, as well. Scream instead of stifling it, shoving it down.

This has not been an easy year, but I think that easy years are like unicorns. We convince ourselves we should have easiness, that we have earned it, deserved it, even that we can buy it. We can't, and easy isn't worth it, anyway. Nothing is learned from easiness.

Wisdom only comes from going through the depths and coming out the other side, battle-weary and bruised, but out the other side...and that's what counts. Can we come through the experience of life to the other side still whole, still with our depth and range of emotions, in fact with a wider range of emotions, with greater compassion, with empathy for all?

And empathy means hurting when we see hurt. It means answering the call to change the world by changing ourselves first.

Rose reminded me of music, and I shared with her that "In the Garden" sung by Willie Nelson had been my favorite since childhood. I played it again recently and the tears flowed. No, I'm not religious, but I hope I'm spiritual and trying to connect to the greater mystery that is. It's still the most beautiful song I know, next to "Hallelujah," for getting emotion to the surface.


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