Sunday, September 24, 2006

One Year Ago Today

[audio entry]

One year ago today, P was visiting from Denmark. We'd gone to the coast, to my favorite little place in Seaside. Early in the morning, while he was still sleeping, I sat at the table in the cottage and looked out the bay window. I watched the ocean and the birds and sipped coffee and wrote the following in my journal:
There is within me--within all of us, I think--a beast which protects me from the world. Some days it is a roaring beast and others it is a beast that crawls stealthily, but always it is ever watchful--the lizard brain upon which the monkey brain rests.

I recognize that I have defenses that I use far more than I need to, and that for each thing these defences protect me from, they cost me something profound: they keep the world and the experiences and the opportunities for growth and joy at bay. I am aware that closing myself off from my feelings freed me from having to do anything about them. I know that in barricading myself away, I pushed away my own life. I am trying to reclaim so much, and to let go of what I never should have internalized. I am trying to open myself to intimacy that goes beyond the intellectual intimacy I have long enjoyed with friends.

I have come to a place where I know that venturing further will only get me lost inside myself, locked away, never to get out alive. And so I have decided to fight for my life and let life and others in. It is not easy. I have habits and defenses that rise hard and fast when I feel threatened, afraid, vulnerable. Something within me still throws up barriers even while my consciousness works to tear them down. It makes me feel like a head-case, this internal conflict, but I know it is necessary. Somehow I have confidence to push on. I am all twisted up inside and some days I think it is the knots that hold me together, instead of holding me back. Time will tell.

Buddha with candle, (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
What a long way I have come. And how far I still have to go. Whenever I think I am not making progress in my quest to truly live life, I have but to review my past thoughts. Despite the crisis with my sister's health, despite the stumbling over ingrained stress-response habits, I have made such great strides. I've learned its not as scary as I thought it would be, putting myself out there, taking risks, being real. I've learned that my being genuine means others are more willing to meet me there, and the ones who are willing to are the kinds of people I want to get to know. I've learned the value of attempting to remain eye-level with my consciousness, to watch where feelings and thoughts originate from, so I can determine where in the past I am hung up. And upon reviewing the past year, I've come to the realization that all the 'internal work' I've done needs to be complemented with 'external work'... I need to take better care of the body that houses my spirit.

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