DEEPLY AWAKE – RIDDLE
Do you like riddles? Do you remember the first time you heard the Riddle of the Sphinx? Riddles have always struck me as a bit dangerous, an elder taunting his student, displaying higher knowledge in the common man’s tongue, confounding an intricate mind with pure simplicity. They are mysterious, deep, and speak to ancient, withheld, earned knowledge.
Such it is with daily life for me now.
Daily I am given two, three, sometimes more punchlines, solutions, connections and significances. I can think of no better word, significance.
And the thing is, all of this is going on behind a plain, sort of frumpy exterior, a simple woman living beyond her means, her means having become alarmingly scarce. Monumental truths being revealed to a beggar. The Universe breathes deeply once again, on inhale, all is in macrocosm, on exhale, micro. In and out, expanding and contracting, communicating always, inferring constantly, revealing at will. Whose will is always in question.
I perceive this hushed breathing now, have for a few hours. I think of my littlemind’s life. I remember the truth. I get stuck on a physical problem requiring resolution. I am awed by another notion, my heart expands, my body flushes, I feel the presence of my family, I swim away again, to nearly drown again, in that sea of misinterpretation and silence, silently mourning that no one comes to my rescue, realizing only in meditation I never make a sound when in extremity.
I have come to understand that most of the isolation I felt this lifetime was because I went unrecognized. The part of me which feeds the whole operation, the coal pit in me, it kept lurching through, year after year, never getting a delivery, mining instead my blood and bones for the fuel to keep this whole operation afloat.
No one saw me. And I did everything outside of wearing camo to go unseen, really. Let’s be honest. A three hundred pound woman does not want to be seen. And she is not. Rarely is she heard. She is not praised for her beauty or her allure. Flirting does not satisfy her, and relationship is impossible. The isolation nearly complete, she walks through her days feeling out of place, set apart and ugly. Utterly rejected.
I took on the affectations of the wounded. I shrunk at conflict, cowered when anyone had a differing opinion, and handed over my willingness to make a decision to anyone who would take it. I have found, at least this go around, that there is not a soul alive who will not take my power from me if it is offered to them like the carrion I thought it was.
I kept hidden.
Then, when there wasn’t an expectation I had not seen twisted and misunderstood and squandered, and when my fatigue had become urgent, life-threatening, something happened.
The lights went on.
All at once, the rooms of my house turned a deep forest green, and a love which I haven’t capacity or creativity to replicate, began to sing in my veins. The first miracle occurred as I negotiated the end of my career with the last of a proud line of bullies placed lovingly in my way to ask me, time and again, “So, you gonna keep your power this time?”
Finally, on January 25, 2012, after unceasing unseen carpentry had been underway, the lights came on and I realized I had never been homeless. I had been sheltered, nourished, sustained each and every day in a mansion I can never finish exploring. It’s just that the lights had gone out.
It has taken ten months to understand that it was I who chose to douse the lights, and it was I who finally found a switch.
But now I see there are always more than one I doing the work.
This misunderstanding is something I never got cleared up, because, for all my gurus, for all the wisdom strewn on this holy path, I could never language the obvious. How do I fit into this body? How do I make this outer life fit with my inner one? Why doesn’t anyone understand that there is an orgasmic cosmic mystery underway, and when we think we understand it, that is when we are our silliest, our smallest, our most adorable.
I have come to understand that I misinterpreted being unseen with being rejected.
How can I be rejected by those who do not understand? How can I really have pain from abuse attempted by smaller men, less aware women? How can I respect the toddler in the business suit who cannot tolerate that s/he might be misunderstanding something, something core, something necessary?
I hid because I was hurt because I felt constant rejection because I went unnoticed, or worse, ostracized for being weird, starry-eyed, unattainable, serious, deep. This threatens people, my demeanor. I can’t help how I am, but I spent a lifetime regretting that singular fact.
I am about to unleash myself in ways I could have never given myself permission for prior to that chilled January morning, that moment of decision. Had I known that this date would resonate in my core, set off distant gongs through years of what seemed like random happenings, would I have wanted to know?
Had someone tipped me off that I would walk twenty years in the desert, but my oasis was all set up and waiting, would that have helped me or harmed the project? Yes, it would have alleviated suffering, but I do think that this long walk in the desert has cleared each of us of great burdens, burdens smaller men cannot carry.
Do not think for one moment that I think this is only my story. I know that many of us set up even more difficult lifetimes. We set things up to help us wake up in an accelerated fashion. One does not get a diamond without intense heat and pressure. We, the diamonds first to shine from this crown, a crown where every jewel has a setting, we set it up to be hard, to harden us into these magnificent multi-faceted gems of exquisite, pristine beauty.
When I say ‘smaller men’, I want you to know that I do not see this as a better than/less than set-up. I mean to say, that when the Universe is breathing in and out, the breath must go into something. Into a deep and unreachable place where the new replaces old, the old leaving joyfully, the new settling in as before. The breath must then leave the place of work, the place of exchange, and travel out farther than the breather can imagine it could influence. Everything then returns, rests, and then moves again. And this is happening moment to moment, breath by breath in our bodies. In our hearts. And now, thanks to this new light, in our souls.
Is a bigger man he who is breathed into, or he who travels with the breath, in and out, around and through? Who is the most fearless? That is the bigger man. Who is most daring in their loving, encouraging in their speech, kind in their actions and indulgent in their laws?
There are bigger men walking this planet.
And this is what I know to be true. We are all the same age. We are as ancient as the Sun. There is no bigger man, only bigger choices. The constricted ones, the asleep ones, the cruel and wantonly punitive among us, they have accepted harsh roles, they have chosen the hard road. They give no comfort because they feel none, feel alone, and punish The Other, who they are convinced is the source of their isolation. Simple. Not complicated. The complication comes in when you consider that the ones in your life that have tried to keep you small, keep you in fear, keep you from believing in yourself, who took your power from you as if it were a baton in a relay race, these were the ones who are lighted, because they came in sacrificing something we lightworkers now take for granted.
We chose to come in more awake.
Maybe we are from the place where multiverses are formed, a place where Archangels come for advice, but I am not convinced that the a-holes among us may not be from a star only one intention over. And I know that the scariest of them may very well come from our very councils. We are brothers. We are friends. We are cooperating, and the bigger parts of ourselves, our sleeping-dreaming-meditating selves wink at each other in the hallway, right before one belittles the other for a work project gone wrong, an infidelity, an unpaid bill.
I have actively chosen the role of victim this lifetime, because the price is far too high to take the opposite role. Karmically, the price is too high. I think that is why many lightworkers, and much of humanity, find themselves victimized by their reality to whatever degree. You can sit there and say you are not a victim, but if you take a good look at the story of your life, how often have you been able to discard uncertainty, how often have you yielded to the bad judgment of others? How many times have you known full well that something was doomed from the outset, but kept with it? This is not the perspective of a conqueror. This yielding, that is something only strong ones can do.
The Universe breathes in. The Universe breathes out. I understand now that rejection is illusion. There is recognition, and there is lack of recognition. We are all stumbling through this with blindfolds on, describing our surroundings with words that will come to be seen as utterly meaningless. We who remember, we can help those who have forgotten now. Our blindfolds are off.
Pity that what we now witness unfolding is considered impossible to our blindfolded brothers and sisters. But have you noticed, the lights are coming up. It’s actually quite bright, but certainly not at capacity. Soon, the blindfolds will be superfluous, burned through by the magnificent light we privileged, tattered, misunderstood now bathe in. All will see that these blindfolds, once profoundly necessary are but a silly affectation, donned by giants, playing a rousing game of tag. Soon we will be tearing around the house again, laughing and playing again, unable to hate anyone, unable to feel small, unable to know rejection.
Until then, I will breathe. I will smile. I will get to the work at hand. I can somehow manage these daily life details with a happy heart, because I no longer see them as duty, or some insignificant act. There is significance everywhere. What is true of the flower is true for the tree. We all come from somewhere, and it’s not from around here. We have lost our patience with those who are holding their breath. We know that purple faced kid is going to make himself pass out soon enough. We will breathe for the tykes who have willingly joined the fray, the ones who think they can hold hostage our comfort or our dignity, just by holding their breath. I am no longer moved by temper tantrums. I can give the gift of silence. I can give gentle encouragement. But I think the pissed off kid in the center of the room daring me to give in so that they can get their way, so that they can keep on believing they are in charge, is doing an amazing job at growing me up. Reminding me that I really am a good parent, to myself and to any exhausted three year old who needs a nap and a lullabye.
So, maybe I am not bigger than anybody else, and maybe you aren’t either. But maybe, just maybe, this drama is best lived from the inside out.