Another day, another night

It’s not been a bad day. Went to my meditation group this morning, and it was very special. I usually have a good time with this group, but this morning it seemed to go deeper than usual, and a couple of the people who sometimes bring me too much into my head weren’t there. The group present this morning was the kinder, gentler section.

One of the people who attended this morning is someone I like quite a lot, a very gentle and insightful Japanese-American woman who I’ve known for a while. She lost her husband more than five years ago and still bleeds over that loss. He was her best friend, and his death was entirely unexpected and moved very quickly. She misses him terribly, and has articulated her loneliness on many occasions, and that she feels anchorless, alone. Unsure of her direction, why she’s here. I’ve always understood her and felt that we shared a kindred spirit that is deep and reflective and filled with awe and wonder of the Universe.

This morning, as we reflected on our meditations, I shared that I had been journeying more into my own story than my ancestors’ stories, which is not usually what happens when I meditate with that group. It was not a bad thing at all, and I felt more grounded. I felt that I was somehow doing something worthwhile in the world, and that’s an unusual feeling. I usually feel that I haven’t done anything at all, that I’m a waste of organic material, that I’ve been a failure in slow motion. So, it was nice to be in touch with feelings of having some purpose, having something to show for my time here, even if I have no tangible history of where I come from.

I am still watching this volcano in Iceland, and marveling over the enormous and unfathomable power the Earth yields in that one spot. The volcano is still actively spraying fountains of lava, nearly two months after the eruption began. Molten rocks, caustic gases, all coming up from deep beneath the surface, and straining to escape. The Earth quite literally expels this material, hotter than is comprehensible for a human, and throws it up into the sky. It doesn’t run out of energy, or material. That fascinates me no end.

That reorganization of the Earth’s substance is not an unusual thing. From what I understand, most of Iceland is volcanic, because it’s located on the rift between two tectonic plates that are moving apart. As those plates move, the Earth fills the void in between with magma and lava. to make the new crust. The process, of course, happens in slow motion to us, but it’s at exactly the right time for a planet.

How this all relates to my meditation experience is that I suppose parts of my psyche are reorganizing, moving about, and my core is regenerating itself. The parts of me that have been entirely convinced I am somehow incorrect and have nothing to offer, those parts are moving. They are moving away from the heart of me, and the material that is filling that void is molten hot, passionate, on fire. It’s ebbing and flowing and seeking its level. This is the new part of me that will persist, despite the losses, despite the mistakes, despite the stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time.

So, not too long ago, I had the feeling that I was supposed to be birthing something. Perhaps this is it. What I am supposed to be birthing is myself. I was telling the group that for one of the only times in meditation, I had not felt the urgency to connect with ancestors. This time, it was about me, and my experience. My friend in the group said she felt that we share a deep level of similar experiences and that sometimes I speak what she is feeling. I told her I felt that perhaps we are twin children of different mothers, and she agreed. Nobody found that statement amusing, and I didn’t say it to be funny.

The feeling from this morning is still with me, even though I am still stressing over money and still not having a job. I was thinking about the damned job earlier, and still feel that it what I want, what I am capable of doing, and would be exactly what I need. I’m trying very hard to keep my optimism high, but it’s now been over a month since I sent my resume’. Another friend of mine said, when I told her about this wait, that it’s par for the course with this employer. She’s had experience with them in the past and knows many people who have worked there, so I shouldn’t take such a delay as evidence that I won’t get the job.

I suppose my attachment to getting this job is proof that I am operating from a different place right now, because my normal defeatist mechanism is still firing, but it’s very much muted. I am hoping it’s firing blanks, and not sabotaging my efforts. I can see myself doing this job, and see myself being happy with the job, and a paycheck, and health benefits. I can see myself in the role, and I can see myself being successful. That’s not my usual response to things like this.

I’ve also applied for an online job, and have the same circumstances with that as well – waiting on a response to my application and writing ‘test’. Even if I get the other job, I still want this one because it’s very flexible. You take as much work as you can handle, and it’s entirely online. I don’t think it pays any stellar amount, but even if it’s just enough to put gas in my truck and buy the dog food, that’s a good thing. It’s only been about a week since I submitted that application, and they said it might take up to 30 days, so we wait.

In reflecting on that legacy of always feeling as though I’m in the wrong place, always feeling as though I’m wrong in some way, always feeling like everybody else but I have gotten the instructions. I will never go back to working in an office again, will never go back to working in a regimented environment that I have to be obedient to some faceless process that rewards only upper management for my work. I can never again hold my tongue, until I’ve almost bitten it in half, when there are things going on that are unfair and wrong and inequitable. Never again. I will survive without having to hack off a pound of flesh out of my own hide.

As I am vowing not to return to what amounts to an abusive, brain-draining environment, I feel as though I am making a choice to cultivate my spirit, my soul. Forming this new crust, this new solidity in my psyche is the difference between the non-living that i’ve been doing, that survival dance, and living…thriving…having a chance of joy. Joy is not a given, even if I feel somewhat happy about something in the moment. That’s not necessarily joy.

Happiness, for me, is often the lack of misery, the state of not being unhappy. That’s just dandy, but it feels soft, impermanent, tenuous. It feels as though I’m still waiting for some confirmation before I take a step, and I really don’t have time for that any longer. I need to feel sure of myself, definite, competent. I’ve always been attracted to competent people, so if I’m going to be attracted to myself I need to be competent. And who is more of an expert of me than…me?

There’s a certain point in my journey where I just get tired of fussing with myself. This is one of those times. I want to be a human being rather than a human doing, a human thinking, a human analyzing and pontificating and thinking about being. I want to go back to making noise for the hell of it, wearing bright colors because I can, being wide open just because. I am tired of apologizing for being who and how I am, and I refuse to do it any longer. If you want to witness the volcanic eruption, that’s great, but it’s going to get hot and you need to watch out for falling lava bullets. Don’t complain if you get too close and get burned.

One of the infinite number of committees at my Fellowship sent me an email, saying they didn’t have the annual report for the justice committee that I lead. Oh, dear. I hurriedly dashed off a couple of pages to them, and not without some deliberate reflection and consideration. I am not prone to lie on reports like that, although I am not opposed to putting forth content in the most favorable light possible. So, I began tallying up everything my committee had done last year, and something interesting happened.

After I had been writing for more than a page about our accomplishments for 2020, it suddenly occurred to me that I had done quite a lot. Most of the accomplishments listed were things I’d initiated, and many of them were solo efforts. This is not the way I normally conceive of my efforts, and until I had gotten this stuff in a document, I was still believing I’d done absolutely nothing. My self-perception is quite a bit askew, I suppose.

I’ve reflected previously about the old concept I was taught, about waiting for bestowal of gifts from “above”, usually in response to prayer or living well. I’m questioning that concept these days, though, and realizing that certain “blessings” may come from beneath my feet, or from the ends of my fingers, from all around me. That early concept I had about what comes from “above” is that childhood Christian model of waiting for Divine Providence. When I operated in that modality, I always felt as though I was being judge (and I was) for how well I was following the creed, the Faith, the Gospels. How good I was. How well I followed the rules. My problem was that I felt entirely disconnected from those rules, so I was just about the business of compliance and not faith. I was doing what someone told me were the right things only because I feared punishment if I failed to comply. Actually, not IF, but WHEN. I always felt that I had something to hide, something I’d done wrong and didn’t want anyone to discover. I spent a great deal of my energy making sure I wasn’t discovered, that truth wasn’t discovered, that my faults weren’t discovered. So much energy wasted on trying to hide the fact that I am human.

I’m waiting. I don’t wait well, because I have too much time on my hands and begin telling myself very scary stories. This has to be a turning point, because I say it’s a turning point. I am not going backward, but I’m going forward at a different angle. I’m still headed away from where I’ve been, from what I’ve been in the past, and still moving to a new reality that’s more than what I’ve ever imagined, but very much what I’ve always dreamed. As I tell people when a catastrophe has occurred, it will be OK. We just don’t know what OK looks like. And so it goes.

Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes the windshield, but it’s still reality.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: