Conscious Allowing, Or How I Learned To Live Alone

With the Canadian election over, done and dusted, Trudeau won, and the U.S. election off on the horizon, impeachment looming, scandal after scandal, and the nest of criminals and con artists Trump has surrounded himself with being exposed, maybe I’m a bit tired of that whole mess.

Perhaps time for reflection, tis that time of year, for me.

Conscious allowing is as simple as creating the space in the present moment to experience what is.

OMTIMES | THE CONSCIOUS ALLOWING

So, little backgrounder: I used to be rather, oh, let’s say naive, I was safe, secure, had the things I was supposed to want, I was complacent, fat, sad, and uninspired, fearful.

But I was not alone in that sadness, for some of its sting had come from my husband, as I had taken on some of his demons as my own. For a couple years the end had been coming, I just chose to ignore it.

Well, as endings often do, the end to my marriage ended up setting off a string of changes, and in the days before the end, thru the month of October all hell had broken loose and the demons that had haunted him his whole adult life, that abused child he had hid away, his rage and clinical depression that resulted, escaped the tight leash he’d had it on for so many years.

It exploded out from its cage, those truths he had hid from for so long.

Oh, truth is a hard thing to enfold into the oblivious world one creates to survive the pain of such horrific childhood abuse. After his suicide attempt, after calling my sister and talking it all out with her, with him holed up in the dark basement again… hiding… and I knew I had to do something. I knew he would just try again, so I told him to leave our marital home, get out, go live with his Bachelor of Social Work sister, we were done.

That was it, finit-o, done-zo.

He was unhappy and nothing was going to change the fact that we had quietly grown apart, it was over, and he needed to sort out himself.

This November will be 20 years since that day my marriage ended.

Why go into this? Well, just background.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

Eckhart Tolle

So, few days ago just before dawn marked 7 years since Tim died and this Halloween, just before dusk, will be 18 years since Mom died. October for me has become about endings, and how I deal with all that.

I was terrified of what lay ahead way back after the marriage died, but before mom’s death. Even though I told him to leave as much for myself as for him, it was a thing that felt like being dropped off a cliff, or going off into the unknown down a dark path.

So when mom died just 2 years later, I was still getting over all that, and it still stung, I was still very lost.

Fall became for me a time of endings, and wrought with emotions.

Then Tim came along, and 4 years later, another ending, in October.

So October for me became a month for reflection, for introspection, an inspection, my year-end review.

For not just the sake of deaths, but more for the purpose of living, I have begun to use October as a time to determine how to go forward.

Some years back I realized that as so many of those powerful endings happened in the fall, that with all those emotions bubbling at the surface it was a fabulous time to take a looksie at what I’ve dragged around over the year.

With all that in mind, I’ve been asking myself why the path that led me here was a difficult one, and was it necessary?

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

The answer I arrived at was that yes, I think it was, and here’s why.

Honing that creative spark, igniting that thing inside takes a bit of grit, takes some hardships, some friction. Like the raw piece of marble, in order to make it into your vision you have to chisel away at the surface in order to get to the figure that lies within.

That is the thing I’ve been thinking, kind of what I’m exploring this month.

Right now I’m on a spiritual quest as much as a creative one. I’ve made space in my life for the things that move me, that ignite me, that maybe even make a difference in the world.

Yet, it was really this blog that started it, which happened because of Tim’s death, and those 4 months I was stranded up in Grey on my own.

It became this medium, this blog, that helped me to reach out.

What I wrote about changed, became more political, and like the small ripples in the water, they grow, expand, and become larger ripples, maybe even creating a wave of change.

Where I am right now is a place I’ve wanted to be since before I got married, way back in the stone age, I had just turned 20 and I had dreams. But, if I’m honest, those dreams never really included anyone.

I look around me and I see so many who have successfully carved out for themselves a leisurely path, secure, domestic, suburban – with all the accoutrements of job, spouse, kids and a 2 car garage. And I tried all that, I thought that was what everyone was supposed to do, otherwise you were a failure.

You know, the truth is I never wanted a 2 car garage or kids, or some house in the ‘burbs. I wanted to be safe, but I also wanted to be ALIVE and not bored stiff. I wanted more.

You know, I was all set, bound and determined, thought that was what I was supposed to want, so I adjusted. Married the guy, get the house, the job, the whole shebang. Bada-boom-bada-bing, did it, got it, found it, and a decade later it all fell apart. I felt deceived.

But, I had deceived myself.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”

Eckhart Tolle

So, maybe not so much really that I always seem to end up where others fear to tread, though there is something to that, but the way, or the means, I suppose, the vehicle to which I travel is always more challenging. Why I kept asking myself? Why me? Why can’t I just stroll off into the sunset and enjoy my Eden like a good little girl?

I have always been pulled off, lured off the path. Kind of like the rickshaw way, bouncing down the road, hyper-aware of my surroundings, taking it all in. I am pulled towards friction, challenges, towards wilder places.

That comfortable place, the security of the garden, our own Eden’s, well for me that place is a trap.

In that place I have always become less. Become bound, become scared and fearful. Eden for me is a box, a gilded cage. I became subservient, unsure of my way, doubting my instincts, as I become wrapped up in that sense of security, it lulled me. I forget who I am, what I want, desire, wish for, ache for.

WHOOSH, over time, or maybe it happens at night as I sleep, but it deceives me into taking on the needs of another and completely ignore my own.

Or, that’s how it was every single time I had the guy, the place, the stuff, I lost myself in that cozy blanket.

When it all fell apart the first time, I got lost in call centre hell, masquerading as Holly GoLightly desk job girl, living on Turkey sandwiches and that long walk I would take to work, 45 minutes there and back again. Those were the first things I clung to, after being shattered, and it took a whole decade to heal those wounds.

I wanted to go back to where I had been before. Before him, before I had tried to be something I was never, I suppose, never really meant to be. Or, maybe I was meant to be those things? Had to be to learn the things I needed to learn?

Took the long way, of course, tis the only way for me. All about the journey, the ride.

Through this and that, moves and dips and dives, and thriving, and dips and dives. Through deaths, through one lake, another lake, dream garden, living in the wild and free country.

Again, WHOOSH.

Start over again. Back to another beginning, another new start, new place. Reset, wash, repeat.

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

Eckhart Tolle

Happiness came in waves, and disappeared. Working a desk job of one sort or other for 30 years, thinking that’s who I was, desk job girl. Trying again and again to live that life I thought was the only life for me, thought was the right thing, to be, to have, to be the right version of me these were the things I needed to acquire.

But, it never caught. It never seemed right. Once in the thick of it I would daydream about this other me that seemed like a phantom, a fantasy. Yet, how do I live if not this common way, this secure way, this all spoused-up and taken care of way? How do I live any other way? How do I survive?

But something changed. I changed. I snapped. Like whiplash, I knew the truth, finally.

So one day I told desk job girl to go f@ck itself. Decided right then and there, sitting in that chair at the HR that I’d rather live under a blawdy bridge in a cardboard box than be that girl.

Once that happened, with homelessness looming, I found inside me this logistics chick her co-workers refer to as Mighty Mouse. The person I wanted to be changed, and it began to come into focus. It was raw and real and simple, and it required a lot of hard work – and I LOVED it.

At some point I also began bicycling to work, and that kept me focused, kept me going the right way. And it was hard work.

At 52, I am the fittest I have ever been.

The key? Rather than letting the hard things happen, I added them to the mix, intentionally. Well, not to mention that bicycling gives me these little bubbles of bliss, balanced against 5:30 AM rides to work in all sorts of weather, and it’s a hard slog start to finish.

If life keeps making it hard work, then why not add the hard work, live intentionally, live with some built in friction, eh?

Somehow it ignites me, the spark within.

The hard work part of my life is balanced with the more leisurely things I do, like writing, photography, poetry. It helps me process the words I read, what I see, what they say, what I think about what they say, all gets mixed up on the ride – blends.

Once completed, once home, zenned out in my nook, out of the mix comes the words, they spill out thru the tips of my fingers, to the keyboard, and out to this virtual page that lies before me.

I am alone, I thrive alone, I rarely ever now feel like there is something missing. I crave being alone, I embrace my solitude as my finest hours, moments, days, even whole weekends of it. Bliss.

So that’s it, that’s what I learned. I need the rickshaw way, bumping along, holding on, the difficult way, the wabi-sabi way. The friction ignites the spark, keeps the creativity juices flowing.

“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”

Eckhart Tolle

In the end, the most important bit is that I need no one else to make it so. I gain security, the Eden, the drive, the spark – on my own, by myself, in my own way, on my own terms. I learned that by controlling the friction with both the work I do and the challenges I embrace, comes simplicity.

Conscious Allowing – I allow the friction, embrace it, let it in, let it do its work on me – its like ignition.

I grab it, take it, understand it, and I have learned that I carry it with me everywhere, no one can take it from me unless I allow them to. Sure, I’ve read that stuff before, intentional living and all, but never understood exactly how it could apply to me.

But, hey, no mamby-pamby mumbo-jumbo, no hoogy-moogy self-help guru lessons from the divine, nope. This new sense, this way I go, this way I guess I have chosen, embraced, it is just, I suppose just how I get to wherever I happen to need to be – the more challenging way, not that path of the least resistance that once just deaden me inside.

And if it is taken away? If I lose something, pft, been there, done that, got the t-shirt, now a rag. Things are but things, this new me is not so fearful as the old me. And I learned how to create my own Eden from what I have, plant it with my own hands, and that has made all the difference. Nothing is forever, things end, but every ending brings a new beginning. THAT is the ultimate lesson.

Eh? Better late than never.

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not man the less, but Nature more”

Lord Byron

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