Sad Weekend

Number-Zero-0-4110-large

days without pirate attack

I read my friend, Paula’s, post yesterday morning A Sad Day.  I sat out in the backyard and cried for a while.  I am staying in my “very sad ” this weekend, too.  Not because the memories of my own assaults came back.  Not because I remembered others’ stories.  I am sad because it feels like those senators just don’t care.  They may believe Ford, et al.  But their actions tell me that they don’t care compared to what they want.

The stories of girls and women, boys and men who were bullied and assaulted may or may not be believed, but the powerful just don’t care about our feelings if it gets in their way.

(I can’t find the link right now…) I read a very good self-effacing man’s confessional this week, wondering if his memories of how he had treated women were the same as theirs. He asked and found out he had hurt at least one, so he publicly apologized. Had K. been emotionally mature enough to respond this way, I believe we’d all have responded much differently.

Senators, you should take away another lesson from this week:  humans are designed to remember when they’ve been hurt.  And you just did it to us again. WE WILL hold it against you.  Guaranteed.

 

Advertisements

Found Objects

A couple of days ago I found a tiny jade elephant charm mixed into the rocks in my Arizona backyard.IMG_0005

I’ve walked by that spot hundreds of times, but never saw the elephant.  Or maybe it wasn’t there until that morning.  Maybe. More likely rain, wind, under-surface critters, and my own steps and weight shifted material to move the elephant into view.   The charm has likely been in the rocks from when they were brought into the yard for landscaping.  How did it get into the load of rock, then?  Where did the rocks originate?  How many times have people been near the rocks on their route to my backyard?

What I find fascinating about a found object like this charm is it focuses my attention completely on something unexpected for quite a while.  For several minutes I examine it, clean it, turn it around with my fingers. I wonder how it got to this particular place and time. I wonder what it will bring to me, and what I will bring to it.

Does the object have significance? Some cultures use jade elephant charms to bring good fortune to the wearer.  A quick web search says that a jade elephant is used in Feng Sui to strengthen the influence of that room’s section. A symbol of an animal can bring with it all the power of that live animal. We have (somewhat) changed our treatment of elephants in recent years.  We know elephants have strong family ties, lifelong memories, and feel emotions as we do.  You need only read the biographies of the elephants at the The Elephant Sanctuary  in Tennessee to feel connected.

I believe the charm has whatever significance I give it. I believe at some point someone wore this charm, and they believed it had significance, too. I believe that person was not from a Western culture, so I am now connected to her or him through this charm. I believe they valued the jade stone it was carved from. I believe this charm has connected me to the original wearer and reminds me again how we are all connected to everything.

Reference Points

zero

Days Without Pirate Attack:

Saturday I received a text from a friend showing me a picture of his new son.  Baby was, of course, adorable with that “Where the heck… What the heck…” look on his face common to newborns.

This friend has a lovely family with a wife, step-daughter, and two sons.  This is not at all my idea of him! My idea of him is stuck from over twenty years ago.  In my head he is still the person I would call a “rake.”  Some admiration, some judgment.  Sticky identity. Hmmm.

But enough about him.  What does this have to do with me?

This is actually a good question.

What does it say about me, my identity, that keeps him stuck?  What is my identity that holds him in his?  When I say “his” I mean my idea of him.  Probably not his own idea of himself or anyone else’s idea of him.

If you want to drive to Denver, you need to know where you’re starting from to plan your route accurately.  If you think you might be lost, you need to stop and find some reference points.

Where am I to still see him that way?  That’s what popped into my head last Saturday as we texted back and forth, and I looked at a new human being with half of his DNA.

I knew it would be necessary for me to un-stick my identity of me from back then to allow his to be current.  I’ve been running through some attributes to see what felt most solid.

Immature: mature
Entrepreneur: job
Gadabout: traveled only a little
Infatuated: pragmatic
Went around curves really fast: too scared to do that
Worked hard to change: afraid I haven’t changed at all

…. oh. Only matters how it feels, not whether or not it’s true.

More work to do, if I can be brave enough to do it.

What IF the Opposite were True?

This post from Very Smart Girls made me stop and think and then think some more. Asking that question is a powerful practice tool.

Opposite-is-True-Very-Smart-Girls

I’m tired.  What if the opposite is true?

I’m smarter than her.  What if the opposite is true?

He’s only doing that to make money. What if the opposite is true?

I have to get that done today.  What if the opposite is true?

Interesting results! Feeling certain of beliefs and, well, anything, limits my growth and experiences.

Give this practice a try.

 

 

Shortest Dharma Talk

from my Zen Page-a-Day® calendar this week:

“”I have arrived, I am home”is the shortest Dharma Talk I have ever given. “I have arrived, I am home” means “I don’t want to run anymore.” You need that insight in order to be truly established in the here and now, and to embrace life with all its wonders.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

This is one of go-to poems when I am doing a walking meditation.  I loved seeing it come up on the calendar with a little more insight to it.

 

 

 

The Concept of Space

I enjoyed this fresh take on the notion of space… http://www.awakin.org/index.php?op=show_email

“We think of space as if it were a far-off destination or something we create. But really, space is ever present and everywhere. A room crammed full of stuff doesn’t have less space than an empty room, It just has more stuff in it. We are not creating space when we take stuff out, space is already there. There is nothing but space.  
Inside us is space as well. Like our external space, our internal space can become crowded with stuff that might impede our ability to move around and do things efficiently. Our internal space becomes more and more crowded with thoughts, beliefs, and judgments that keep us from healing, movement, and growth. Much like a hoarder who crowds his life with material things because he fears he may someday need them for survival and well-being, we hoard and crowd ourselves with unnecessary beliefs and judgments.
“Should” thoughts and “can’t” thoughts and “have to” thoughts and “never/ always” thoughts are dis-empowering and create impossible conditions for our healing, depleting us of our energy. Thoughts like “I will never have enough time, space or resources to fulfill my needs.” Or thoughts like “the only way to feel better is to have or do x, y and z” set us up for failure time and again. These thoughts crowd our internal space and become externalized in the form of judgments of others and the world.”

 

How am I doing that?

mirrorThis post is about our reflections.  Those wonderful people who hold up the gorgeous, polished mirror for us every day.

This morning I listened to a friend talk about how her low self-esteem and how her family enforced the idea that she was never good enough.  I thought, “It’s sad that her parents gave her that belief, but it’s even sadder that she still believes it.”  I wanted to ask why she still bought into that.  (Ironic that I was invalidating her, too.)

I realized then that she was a reflection.  How do I do that?  How do I spout decades-old beliefs about myself as if a) they were true or b) I couldn’t change them to whatever I wanted?

I know how the mind works and its pre-disposition to the negative, to the habit, and to the usual pattern.  BUT, if I do some simple math and accounting and add up the time for all of the “bad” things I’ve done and have been done to me, they maybe add up to one day (with some contingency) total.  But let’s say one day.  Now comparing this one day to the over 22,630 days I have lived up until now, why would I add one more second to that side of the ledger?  Why?  More importantly, why would I be the one doing it?

Time to shift my attention.  Thanks, Reflector.