Friday, February 22, 2013

The funny thing I'm finding out about these February blues is that I don't mind them. I used to think that there was something wrong with me if I were sad. But now I'm realizing that sadness is simply a state of mind - quite natural, very normal, and mercilessly monotonous. But I don't seem to mind the monotony. I'm able to accept that it's the state of my mind at this time, and if it lasts a month, or more, that's entirely ok.

I think it's a belief that people have that humans should be happy. I know depression could lead to death, but I'm talking about everyday unhappiness. I'm not sure why there should be a condition on humans that they must be happy. Maybe it's that belief I need to start questioning before I buy into it. Now joy - people can find joy in any moment - like waking up and seeing a gorgeous sunrise, or the pleasure of sitting down in front of a fire with a cup of tea at the end of a long cold day. People can find these simple pleasures and simple joys anyday, everyday, even in the middle of being unhappy. Maybe it's the moments of joy and grace and peace that we should hang our hats on, and stop expecting or looking for some faraway promise of happiness.

I'm unhappy and I don't mind it - what a revelation! It makes me feel free, rather than guilty, about this melancholy mood.

It's a lovely thing - questioning my own beliefs. Beliefs that I know not where they came from, didn't know I had them, but so firmly embedded within my belief system that I have a bunch of shoulds and musts based on those beliefs. The higher the walls of shoulds and musts grow, the more I'm trapped within these walls. So my own beliefs are trapping me - this one seems a simple enough belief to let go, but I know there's a build up of hundreds, if not thousands, more that I'm not even aware of. Exhausting to think about, or track them down, so I won't, but it's exhilarating to break one down.

Turning the searchlight of awareness on my own self is a fascinating exercise - it always dredges up interesting things about my own self. I'm miserable and I don't mind it. How about that!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Fiery, Flaming, Foul Demon

Now that I've sort of calmed down, when I force myself to sit still and close my eyes, I feel the after-effects of an assault by the red eyed demon inside me. I can actually feel its gargoyle like outline - black, thick, slimy - its bulbous eyes popping out of its sockets, its heavy heaviness heaving in the middle of my chest.

It's been ages and ages since I lost my temper quite so uncontrollably. Now that I look back, I'm pleased that I haven't been this angry in a really long time, and I hadn't even realized that - so I guess I should give myself some credit; but right this minute I'm ashamed at how utterly uncontrollable my anger gets sometimes - it's scary! It's like being possessed by a demon with a flaming tongue, a fiery voice, and foul language. To accept that I've been victim to it again makes me sick. And sad. And guilty.

No amount of regret can change what happened. All the words I said are words I let loose, and can't be roped back in. Any apologies I make are merely more words - they can't cancel out anything. But I will go and apologize anyway.

After I wrote the above in my journal, I opened to the next chapter in the book I'm currently reading, and it just so happened to be about anger! Below is an excerpt.

"The first stage is simply to become aware... the second stage is working with the feelings that come out of that awareness: our anger, our desire to get even, our desire to hurt those who have hurt us. When our sorrow begins to be as great for what we do to others as for what has been done to us, our practice is maturing. If we are committed to healing, we want to atone. It means to be "at one." We can't wipe out what we have done in the past; we've done it. Guilt doesn't help. Saying that one is sorry - apologizing - is not always atonement either. Though it may be necessary, it may not be enough... The process of atonement goes on for a lifetime. That's what human life is: endless atonement."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Evolve or Die

I'm atrophying, freezing, fossilizing. The only thawing I'm doing is through my tears. Warm, salty tears. Other than that, I can't move a muscle, I can't take an step; I'm stuck, stagnant, stifled. And it scares me. I'm terrified that I'm dying - on the inside. I don't think Darwin only wrote about physical survival when he said "Evolve or die", or maybe he did. But it seems just as true for survival of the spirit. Can I become extinct even as I'm alive? Is this how dinosaurs and dodos felt as the earth was icing over, enveloping their warm bodies until they became ice, frozen, and eventually fossilized? Did they fight to survive? Did they run as fast as they could to stay warm and alive? Or did they surrender themselves to cruel Mother Nature as she killed her own animals to extinction?

But Nature isn't cruel. It just is. It's just a matter of life. And death. And yes, eventually extinction. So why does surrendering feel so sad? Maybe because I'm not surrendering in my spirit, but only in body. I stay here, day after day, receding into myself, boxing myself in within walls of cold, barely moving, not knowing if I'm hibernating - waiting for spring to come warm me, or if I'm solidifying into a flat sheet of frozen nothing. But animals seem to have instincts - what happened to mine? My intuition seems muddied right now, giving me no clues about my direction, no clear scent of right or wrong, no sense of danger or freedom. So I stay petrified - like a deer in headlights - neither hibernating nor happy. Just stuck.

And if staying stuck is my strategy, for lack of anything else, for lack of instincts or wisdom, I guess I can do it as well as any deer can. Yes, they get killed, but death is afterall written into life. If I can't evolve, can I at least die without hurting anyone else?

It would have starved a Gnat --
To live so small as I --
And yet I was a living Child --
With Food's necessity
Not like the Gnat -- had I --
The privilege to fly
And seek a Dinner for myself...
To Gad my little Being out

-- Emily Dickinson