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I am pitched through the sands of time.
My throat is parched, my skin chapped.
I am buffeted on all sides by decisions I have made.
The desert molds me.
My ego is broken.
I dissolve bit by bit until my soul is ready.
I fall helpless and prostrate at God’s feet.
I can’t do this by myself.
I feel alone and deserted.
I’ve been abandoned.
I give myself to it.
I let myself fall.
I fall back into space.
I fall into the sky.
Something catches me.
I am floating, buoyant.
Space and time cease to exist.
There is only eternity,
It cradles me.
It envelops me.
I am safe.
I am loved.
I am here.
I always have been.
I am hollow: bereft.
I feel the blackness coalesce.
Where am I?
Who am I?
This is not where I’m meant to be.
This isn’t the path chosen for me.
It’s all wrong.
I’m all wrong.
I can’t find my way out.
I can’t climb, I don’t shout.
I’m so tired.
Why does this circle entwine?
Why does this box confine?
My heart aches.
My head aches.
Round and round, I blindly flail.
My urgency is to succeed, yet my pattern is fail.
I can’t do this anymore.
I can’t be this anymore.
Yet I can’t just make it go away.
I must face this bleakness; I choose to stay.
Give me strength.
Give me peace.
Give me hope.
Let me be.
This was written in 2006.
This is an excerpt from one of my personal journals …
“How do I deal with these feelings of deep resentment, unhappiness, anger and oppression?
Such heavy words.
I have them, but what I am supposed to do with them?
Perhaps yelling and screaming? Perhaps crying? Perhaps taking action?
But what action would that be?
In order to get myself out of this situation, I must make changes, or movements toward alternatives. But what are those changes? those movements?
I’m not sure of the answers, or am I? I am questioning my clarity, my understanding, my intuition, my gut.
I need to release or express these difficult emotions. But how?
I must accept that everything is only temporary, nothing is stagnant, only my thinking, my inability to act, no my unwillingness to act stops me from moving forward, to moving to where I want to be.
I act by letting go, by facing the emotions, by feeling them, by releasing them from my mind, my body, my soul.”
I wrote this many years ago, and it was these types of ruminations that lead to the awareness and answers that are in my book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. It was a long journey to find the insight and courage to act. I hope you find your way too.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day, and to my friend, let me apologize … because inevitably, a friend will always end up somewhere in a writer’s musings ;).
My friend is going through a very difficult custody battle for his daughter, and a wonderful site called Ponder Central had recently posted an excerpt from our book, Life, on detachment. My friend responded to the post by saying he didn’t agree with our philosophy. He explained that he was in the middle of a terrible, painful fight and he couldn’t just let go of it.
Here’s part of the post: “Detachment is the art of letting go…When people think of detachment, they think of being insensitive, cold or emotionally void – a kind of numb, nonchalant, indifferent attitude, where we walk around and interact with people projecting an image of being aloof and uncaring. That is not the detachment I want you to embrace…” Let me also add, that detachment is also not about ignoring difficult situations in our lives, or pretending they don’t exist … as if we could. Detachment is about letting go of the pain, and negative energy and emotions, that tend to accompany these difficult rites of passage. We cannot let the pain fester.
I explained that while we may not be able to change our current situation, (at that exact moment), we can’t allow the pain to consume us. He responded by saying, pain was the only thing motivating him to fight for his daughter.
I responded gently by suggesting that perhaps it was really his love for his daughter that was truly motivating his actions.
His pain, however, is keeping him locked in a cycle of suffering. It is very difficult to focus clearly, and find objective, productive ways to move out of a difficult situation when we are knee deep in the pain, essentially only seeing red. All of our actions, thoughts and words take on a particular slant/tint when they are filtered through that anger and pain.
During one of my recent yoga classes, a student asked how to deal with anger. The key is to understand that by telling everyone how miserable we are, by talking about our ‘story,’ our ‘plight,’ by complaining, by rehashing, ruminating upon, reflecting on and in general letting the anger and pain consume us, we keep ourselves trapped in a cycle of negative energy … which if we prescribe to the motto ‘what we get is what we project’ … we will only draw more and more negativity into our experience.
The trick is to catch ourselves in the act: be conscious of our negative thoughts, words or actions. I remember, a long time ago, thinking to myself how easy life would be if I just had amnesia. I could forget all the pain, all the negativity, all the painful memories, and all the injustice. What I realized years later, was that we all have a choice. The past, the pain, the anger, the resentment, the hurt, it stays in our life because we let it … we give it room to breathe and grow. We nurture it with our thoughts and our tenacity to cling to negativity … after all misery loves company.
The wild thing, the exciting thing, the extraordinarily wonderful life changing, weight lifting thing about all of this is that we can choose to let it all go. Pain hinders us, makes us ill, makes us unhappy and unfulfilled. If we can take a leap of faith and try letting it go, try letting the pain slough off of us … for even a moment … the lightness, the peace and relief that follows will give us the confidence to let it go for good. We don’t need pain to live, we don’t need a negative past, or difficult memories. They hold us back, they keep us from thriving.
Letting go of negative emotions might involve speaking to a counsellor, (someone who is objective, as opposed to a well intentioned, but nonetheless biased friend), or something as simple as writing about it in a journal – without censuring ourselves. The key to writing anything down is to never let anyone else read it. I find it is easiest to get it all down, moan, scream, cry, swear, spit out the injustice and pain in big block letters of indignation, and then burn it, rip it up … destroy it. The process is meant to be cathartic. It is an emptying of pain, not holding on to it—in any form. Perhaps you enjoy kick boxing, or running. Maybe you like yoga or meditation. There are as many ways to release negative energy as there are ways of collecting it. Try to find a method that works best for you and make a commitment to releasing the pain once and for all!
Do you have a tried and true method for letting go of negativity? We’d love to hear about it!
P.S. To check out Ponder Central Click Here: http://pondercentral.com/2012/08/06/ponder-on-this-for-tuesday-august-7th-2012-by-annemarie-greenwood-and-marissa-campbell-in-life-living-in-fulfillment-every-day.aspx
My son recently got a job. His first job … ever. He was not really looking for a job; he was quite content to pass his summer in idle pursuits, like computer games, hanging out with friends, or creating a permanent indent in the couch. But when a wonderful opportunity landed in his lap, he changed his mind and became genuinely interested—the gobs of cash he would make with a full-time position over the entire summer was not lost to him. He went to the interview, landed the position, and started the next day. As we were traveling home from the interview, he was elated and excited until I mentioned he couldn’t go to Canada’s Wonderland for his brother’s year end band trip (they always invite siblings to join the trip—since it’s the parents that do all the driving.)
I watched this news sink in, and then sink in further still, and his mood became somber, disappointment written on his handsome face. This was not a fleeting ‘ah bummer’ sort of mood, it was a deep disappointment—a lament for the loss of his summer. Most would say he had been lucky. At nineteen, we had never pushed him into getting a job. We told him, his school was his career, and as long as he applied himself and succeeded, we would give him the jolts of cash he needed to have a respectable social life. However, that was all before university. University sucks a lot of money into its sizable vortex, and Mom and Dad are not made of money, so a job was very much a necessity. But as I watched him realize that his entire summer was now to be spent working, I couldn’t help but feel his pain.
This was not just a job. It was a symbol of his youth disappearing. The days of idleness and carefree sojourns, free of responsibility, were coming to an end. He was moving into the adult world, a world typically comprised of hard work, long hours, ambition, expectations, pressure, and stress—definitely not the world of his youth.
How many of us lament the loss of our own summer? We get swept into a life that may not look like the one we had imagined for ourselves. We get swept up in the want to prove, the want to keep up with the Jones, the want to establish ourselves as successful in the eyes of others. And often, we lose ourselves and our dreams, our desires, and our sense of fun and playfulness in the process. We can become automatons just churning out a good wage, chugging through the daily grind. We can become stuck. And when we are stuck in a situation we are unhappy about, we will often look to that grass on the other side and lament what we don’t have, or lament what we have lost.
That lamentation is a glimpse into our soul, our true nature; it is a peak into our deepest desires: long since relegated to the back seat. It is our passions trying to re-establish themselves, trying to let us know ‘hey, this is not all we are.’ It is an invitation to try and incorporate some of the things we love back into our lives, to take a moment each day to follow what feels good, instead of what is expected of us.
Summer doesn’t have to be lost forever. It is a choice to let it slip through our fingers, becoming a figment of our past. Summer can be now: every day. Remember what it felt like to just lay around, free of responsibility, to go swimming, or hiking through the forest, running through the fields, or climbing trees … rekindle that sense of fun, that sense of joy and peace. Make happiness a priority. Make engaging in activities that make you happy, your life’s pursuit. We can’t always pick up and change our life completely, but we can make small changes every day that move us closer to a glorious summer.
I’ve encouraged my son to put half of the money he will make toward his university fund, the other half is for him to live—and I don’t mean on things like food, board, or utilities, it needs to be spent on him, on things he will enjoy, that will make him happy. Things like trips to Canada’s Wonderland with his friends or something as grand as a vacation in Europe.
We get caught up in the necessities, putting every cent we make toward just carving out an existence. We need to start a ‘Fun Fund’—a little something for a ‘rainy mood day’ so we can do something to make us feel good. Fun Funds can go toward a bouquet of flowers, a new mani/pedi, an hour at the library just basking in the silence, curling up with a good book by the fire, or in bed, going to a movie—yes, even alone, buying a new electronic toy, or new shoes, tinkering with a hobby. The list is endless, and obviously very personal.
The key is to take some ‘me time,’ whenever you can eke out a moment and toss any feelings of guilt whatsoever out the window and just enjoy yourself. You are entitled to happiness. You deserve happiness. Happiness is your birthright; make it a priority—make YOU a priority. And no matter where life takes you, don’t compromise that happiness.
Enjoy your summer!