I am feeling my essence pulled between sharp contrasts of strength and crying helplessness. If I can embrace the whole paradox there is a new way.
For almost the entire relationship with jeff (not far off a year now) there has been uncertainty and unknown. At the moment we don’t know if he still has a job in the uk. And I don’t know if he will move here for months or if this visit is the last. Every visit has had that feeling. There is only so long you can “enjoy the possibility to learn to live-in-the-moment” before the frustration mounts and it becomes almost unbearable.
I was reading some neurology earlier to soothe myself and remember my interest in mind-body links. Nothing like some physiology to calm things. I was reading into balance of sympathetic-parasympathetics. So here’s an interesting thing — when caught between inescapable choices, between approach-avoid, past the point of fight-flight, the system resorts to a last ditch attempt to avoid pain-death : a freeze-dissociation response. You get a comforting flood of endorphins and leave your body a bit, very helpful as the lion drags your body away to eat – and there’s always the slim chance if you look dead already a hungry predator might leave you alone.
Interestingly, reptiles are quite adept at this, but in our fuzzy mammalian systems its possible for this to back fire and everything up to sudden death result. This is how voodoo-curses work : in a tribal culture where a taboo has been broken and the individual shunned with the voodoo-mans bone-rattle, often they will go and lie down and die. This isn’t just some super enhanced placebo – this is the fear and panick of being rejected/cast out of a tribal group where lack of support and community equals death. The same sudden-death phenomena has been observed in “developed” cultures with people finding themselves in seemingly “life threatening” situations : problem with our smart mad-monkey mind is we can see loss of a house/huge debts/exam failure/divorce etc as life threatening, especially if its the last straw on top of a huge steaming pile of stress.
They key word in all this is : (perceived) helplessness. It can create an obsessive/spirallying/anxiety loop that keeps you awake at night amongst other things detrimental to mental-spiritual sanity.
This feeds into how I’m doing. My feelings for Jeff have only grown, despite everything, my longing to share my truth with him has led me to reveal more and more of myself and its hitting crazy transcendtal levels now. I’ve just about to grips with existing far apart, finding a routine to talk on skype, supporting each other and feeling our connection through long distance.
Him being physically around is wonderful but also brings home the whole so-near so-far problem to light. It becomes apparent how much I want to just live with him and yet its a lie – he has a life still in a whole other country. I find myself caught between wanting to approach : deepen love, hold to him, open up more and more… And avoid : because fucking hell this will hurt if it all falls apart. There’s burst of my excessive destroyer – rip it all up in a bloody mess, including myself. My excessive submission – give up, let go, cling on to him and become nothing but his shadow. What I struggle with the most is the helplessness. It stirs things from early childhood. Back then I dissociated and then ran away emotionally.
I’d rather not do this with Jeff. Its getting hard though. The last few days I find myself disconnecting at the smallest thing, trying to pull away and numb/diminish myself. He helps me by calling me back into my body and life. All this comes at a time of huge life transitions for me in my living and work.
In between the approach-avoid there is another way though, I can feel flashes of this, like getting a gasp of air as you struggle against drowning.
It involves growing into something bigger, fuller, more rooted to life. I have to foster my connection to the earth and nature or I will never been able to hold this. I sat outdoors earlier, feet on the earth, herbal smoke and coffee. Feeling the plants, green, birds, sky.
I am also forming a new relationship with my fierce-beast creature. I’m seeing there is more to her than raging destroyer, and that her actions can be aligned with Will and with Love. She is curled at the base of my spine, she wraps around my innocence like a black dragon and she has been becoming better at protecting and guarding what is white and pure. There is something else now — she is a spark of fire, narrowed eyes of determination and a level of fuck you world that I will need if I want to take on some pretty controversial issues.
I also see in her a deep and dark old wisdom, that sees the blood and death in life. As I woke her the other morning I had a sort of dream-vision of a black dog bitch nursing puppies that were a mix of blonde and dark. I and some other human were trying to collect the runt and get it back to the teats for feeding. To try and save it. But there was an overwhelming, strong yet calm and loving feeling of – NO, this is part of life, saving runts is disrespectful somehow, sentimental human mush.
So she is bringing me something new, if I allow her to grow and integrate. If I allow too her complement – the crying child in me that falls apart quaking in fear, bringing tears that wash and heal and soothe.
I had an excellent chat-session with a life coach yesterday that helped me acknowledge in the carrot-stick scheme of things, I do well with a few good sticks. I don’t like what happens to me when life is soft and easy. To the point I will destroy/make a mess for the sake of it/or diminish myself. What I’m finding is that there is a gift in my anger and drive — turning helplessness back into fight, into direction — that has at key moments transformed and catalysed my life in profound ways.
And there are plenty of positive sticks – things about the world, about pain, about disconnected people, about crap massages, about lack of touch, about negation of the role of shadow and dark and anger and fear to create positive life – that I can use to fuel and feed that fierceness. She has grown tired of being rage-filled and directionless. And she can destroy things beyond my own self-esteem and life plans.
I’m not sure yet what this turns into. But I do know that as I talk and feel into this it creates a spark of life-horniess that stirs and thrills me. I want to run and bark and howl at the moon. Grip life fiercely and feel blood in my mouth. Love with fierceness in my soul.