I have been running for what feels to be thousands of years. I have acquired much information; one might call it knowledge. Whichever word, I will no longer consider what is in my head to be wisdom.
I have been walking about in miles and miles of misconceptions about heart and mind, about the nature of our culture’s obsessions with the body that contains them and the complete and utter disregard for the workings of all three.
We are born and raised in a denial culture. We are taught to dismiss, fear, deny, suppress, reject, run from emotions. We are phobic. Yet, our bodies will not deny them. Be they dark, be they light, they are carried with us. There is no death that will not be felt, there will be no life truly wasted. I know from a very personal standpoint having childhood grief and trauma insisting I look at it. I don’t know truly why, but I came to understand when unbidden memories of the loss of my first childhood friend, Darryl, came flooding out and overwhelmed me on the skytrain. I haven’t even thought of him for many years. Muscle memory, the creative nature of the organs and flesh waited and brought it to me when I was ready. And this reaction of mine is weakness?
Our conceptions around weakness and strength, good and bad, are wrapped so tightly around and around that we don’t even recognize we are looking at everything through a skewed prism. Like colors, there are primary emotions. You cannot cut out blue and red from the palette and expect to have a full array of visual experience.
It is absurd. Yet, we have learned to believe, “Well, I can stuff my fear in a box, I can cease to cry when I am in despair and this will have no bearing on my life.” War, eating disorders, genocide, rape, environmental degradation? Year after year, generation after generation, and how is it that we don’t see this? Pretending we don’t feel, disconnecting, denying, turning a blind eye, explicit, implicit, complicit. We are all there, and it’s not because we just need to be happy and control ourselves.
We know this, on some level, deep within our true mind, our heart and body. Every single cell understands what we won’t acknowledge.
In our protestant styled patriarchy, we are very much into mastery and balk at the idea of surrender. You do not befriend the bleak and miserable, the criminal, the freak show. You overcome it, you drink it away, snort it up your nose, fuck it, throw it, buy something new. Don’t like this one? Well, get another! This is the wonder of our masculine culture; and by this, I don’t mean it’s the fault of men. We are all active in these unending dances of destruction. Our roles may still be divided, but very few of either gender are emotionally healthful.
Boys are taught to stop feeling, and girls are taught to shame themselves every time they do emote. Either way, it’s imbalanced.
We have come to understand that our goal is to be “positive.” “Negativity” can give you cancer, ruin your waist line, make you unlovable, give you acne, make your boyfriend cheat on you. In other words, it is bad. Is this true? I am sincerely coming to doubt this.
I don’t think one side can exist without the other. Without feminine, there can be no masculine. Without sorrow, there can be no joy. The objective isn’t to slap on the happy face, suck it up and drag oneself through life’s agonies unconsciously so that no one else feels uncomfortable.
The problem with the dark is getting stuck in it. And seeing no way out. The problem is the ego’s ruthless drive for control. And the cost of this pursuit can be seen running willy nilly all over this planet.
No matter what kind of shiny lip gloss we might smear across it, this world as we know it is gasping for air. If we cannot see it, if we cannot feel it, then there is tremendous denial of reality.
As surely as there is beauty and love, there is tremendous suffering.
Trying to understand this within the whole of my being, I can feel the sensation, I can feel the heavy toxicity. I know the weight I carry. The weight of the world. I know some who throw things off, toss it all aside, but my particular way has been taking it all in, stuffing it all down, and having these unwieldy eruptions. We are all twisting and turning away from the same truths, whichever way we choose to do it.
Yet, isn’t it all of one energy?
It is not to be managed, it is to be attended, befriended, and surrendered to.
There is much and little that makes sense to me, but I know that there are many ways to settle in to all of the wisdom that is and has always been here.
I know that I can cry as I can laugh. There is gratitude. There is much humbling to be done. There is grief to move out and through, but it will not be hurried and it can’t work if done for all of the wrong “reasons.” Because reason is only part of the puzzle. And puzzles themselves may turn out to be spirals.