My eyes open to my darkened room; outside the sky is still charcoal. Generally, the sky is dark when I awake as I am an early riser. I stumble towards the kitchen, oops, back up, who am I kidding, first I have to pee… THEN I shuffle the 6 or so feet to the kitchen and grab my glass French Press coffee pot, hoping for some leftovers from the previous morning. If I’m lucky there is some, so I throw my cup in the Microwave to heat it up. Yes, you read that correctly, leftover coffee is one of my fav things, and is always sure to jump-start my ol’system into wakefulness.
Adding my lump of sugar, I retire to my chair in the little nook I created a few months back. Opening up my laptop to peruse for any events of dire or divine result that have transpired over the course of the night, and I am thankful when there isn’t much. As much as possible I try to ignore the blathering of that moron to the south, but he is like that screaming child on the bus that makes me thankful I am barren. I’ve even unfollowed some old friends and various once loved news feeds alike over the course of the last year, just to isolate myself a bit from the barrage of nonsense that some days floods every media outlet.
Yeah, and I’m not helping matters.
So, anyway, Irish gets her treat (these days for not peeing on the floor). If I’m lucky lately I wake up and don’t step into dog pee first thing upon entering the kitchen. Old bladder or just po’d with me for not walking her the day before, but there you go. I am a bad dog Mom. I know I am. I give a 150% at work, yet lately been giving my dog the bum steer – that has to change.
You know, there was a time I actually believed that all those enlightened ones I have encountered over my 50 odd years didn’t have these trials and tribulations, that they just somehow floated through life on some kind of divine positive energy they exuded.
Well, if they do then I am screwed, but I doubt it.
I imagine they too sometimes have woke up to dog pee cause they’re legs hurt too much to walk one more blawdy step. They have messy kitchens and junk drawers, and piles of unwashed clothes in their hampers, least I hope so.
See, divinity is not perfection. Anyone can just look at the natural world and see that it is messy and chaotic, as much as wild and beautiful, it can be harsh and unforgiving. Life is suffering, as Buddhist Philosophy teaches. Some self-created, other times by no fault of anything or one.
“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
It was also at one point my misguided notion that certain things had to be in place before I would be truly happy. As if the acquirement of a life partner, a certain job, a place I would be in body and in spirit, all had to be in order for me to be this person I thought I had to be, was supposed to be. But that crapola (wow, did you know that <- is actually a word? means rubbish).
It started I guess when I decided, must be well over a year ago now, probably two actually, but I began to say “thank you spirits of white light and goodness, please take care of all that I love, including me” every time I left for work, or left for a while and would be leaving Irish home alone. Sometimes all I say is “thank you”. Since I started I find it easier sometimes to unravel that pent-up frustration I sometimes feel, at, I don’t know, annoying software that won’t work properly, or cars as I’m traversing the city to or from work, or bus schedules that have you standing around in an empty parking lot after work for an hour (which is why I cycle when I can).
I have a nasty temper. I Swear like a trucker. I am also a hardcore introvert and find all humans (the good, the bad and otherwise) sometimes very exhausting, and when my fuse is waning I find it difficult to edit my tongue. I, therefore, prefer to work away at whatever on my own, as I do become rather driven at times, and people sometimes just get in my way.
I’ve learned lately to take a breath, catch myself, and smooth out the wrinkles of ugliness that overtake me. I give myself a break, basically.
“Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just as you are.”
I think that right there is the key, you know. Once I learned how to just accept myself, flaws and all, I gradually began to feel those moments of rising anger within me become less, less often, less intense, less overpowering. Its like when I just allowed myself to be angry, I became less angry. When I allowed myself to be less messy, I became less messy. When I allowed my hair to go gray, I became less worried about looking old.
To use Jungian language, I embrace the shadow. The shadow, as all those things you deem negative, like anger, greed, envy. All the things that we try to tell ourselves we are not, when in fact we are. I have been learning how to allow them space, learning how to recognize them, and figure out what makes it grow, what makes it all shrink back to normal.
It is different for everyone, so I can’t really tell anyone else how, but it’s really just a matter of forgiveness. Just I say like that is easy because it’s not. But it is sort of like just before you learn how to do something new it seems very imposing, but once you’ve done it a couple of times it gets easier – like when you first learned how to walk, or ride a bike, or use your new phone.
I have this theory, you know, that GOD, or GODDESS, the THE, the spirit, the divine… it is in the cracks. Divinity is the glue between that makes it all stick together. The beautiful sunsets and tall majestic trees, the mountains off in the distance, the rainbows, all those things are the bits you see on the surface, like the tip of the iceberg. All the real “stuff” is down below, underneath, between the cracks in the sidewalk, not the sidewalk itself.
The ugly bits are what make us divine, where the spirit resides; where it is most useful.
I wonder, maybe that’s why the wisdom goes that if you see the face of god you either go insane or become a poet – the truth is ugly.
“the purpose of a rose is to be a rose. Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just as you are.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
Warts and all.