I am working on a new lesson. It seems as I go along they get harder, not easier. But I am up for the challenge. It started a couple of weeks ago when I woke up shaking. I wrote that this was a signal for me that I was in transit. I usually…no, I always have to know why. I think it stems from a couple of things from my childhood. I was always an inquisitive child. I asked questions all the time, still do. I question motives. Not because I always distrust them either. It is because I like to understand why people do what they do. I want to read the reasons why people do what they do in stories.
I am more interested in learning why something came about because I like to see the different ways people reason things out. This was one of the things that made me a good teacher of those children and adults who do not fit into the box of public education. I love seeing the different approaches to solutions that my students would come up with. I never stopped anyone from reasoning through a problem because more often than not, they came to right place. And when they didn’t, the lesson was even more valuable.
So I struggled for a few weeks thinking something was percolating beneath the surface. Some demon was about the raise its ugly head and I would have to face it. I was sure that it was not going to be a good thing and so I spiraled down a bit in anticipation of it. I spent last year facing demon after demon and I have no regrets for it. It got me to a place where I could settle a bit and I learned about the elusive “just be.”
I was a willing participant in this current struggle and I forgot a lot of the calm I had found. And the more I struggled the farther it went and I began to get pain again. I lost the ability to move and even got those awful charlie horses back. We as humans have an amazing power to poison ourselves and then accept the toxins. This was a big test for me, and in a sense I failed. But in the failure I learned something very important. Is that not how we learn? Maybe failure is a big word, but I do not think of failure as a place to stop. I think of failure is the place to begin again. I do not want to call it a mistake, because that implies it was not meant to be. Failure is meant to be. It is how we grow.
The thing that was blocking me is twofold: Control and knowing. I grew up in chaos. As an adult, I needed to have control of my environment because it was safe. If I knew what was coming, if I controlled the people and circumstances around me, I would be safe. I know now that was a fallacy. The more I tried to control, the more people pushed away. Releasing people to make mistakes was hard to learn, but I had to. It was necessary as a teacher and a member of the human race. There is a difference in guiding people over controlling people. One is a suggestion which you offer up and then let the being decide for themselves, even if it leads them to a place of failure. There is power in that. The other is a egotistical trap that harms not only the being trying to be controlled but the controller. The other thing is realizing I do not always have the best answer for things. There is freedom in that.
And the other issue I have is I always want to know. This too is an issue from my childhood. I was raised in a family of secrets. Yes, dirty secrets to some extent. But I was the youngest and often left out of decisions that impacted my life. I overheard more times in my life, “don’t tell Jane.” It happened in my adult life when I caught my ex doing something he should not have been doing. He did that a lot by the way. This one time I was on the phone with a friend whose husband was selling something very expensive. It was during a time we had no money. She set the phone down to answer the door and it was my ex coming to pay for the item. I overheard the whole conversation and he ended it with, “don’t tell Jane.” Opps, too late! I use this as an explanation of one reason I like to know why. I abhor secrets from anyone. If it is supposed to be a secret….just shut up or do not do it. This is very similar to being in control. I have always felt if I know what is coming, or what a person is about and that they are honest and forth coming, I am safe. It is a false security.
My other new lesson is going to be a lot of work. I am learning to stop asking why. It will not happen in all aspects of my life. But in the spiritual work I am doing, I have to let go. Oh, that was even hard to type. When I first thought about it, there was a sense of freedom that hit me in my gut. What a relief it would be to not be in control and worrying about the outcome. It seemed simple. It certainly is not. Especially for someone like me who survived on control.
And all of this brings me to an old nemesis of mine. A “T” word. Trust. I have to trust enough to let go, just be and know it will be fine. “Oh the agony of all this”…. Just a brief moment of drama, thanks. Had to get it out.
And then we have the other bug-a-boo: Just be! I cannot seem to avoid having to face how hard this still is for me. The moments of peace and calm were so easy while at The River and the world was a different place. But here in my real life, it is a daily struggle. I have to keep soothing my frustration with by telling myself it is new. It is frustrating because the dichotomy is that I want to control “just being”…. That has to make you smile if you have been there.
So now I am swirling in my head with all the release I am to do. I will stand up very tall with no apology to anyone and say: “It is hard, I am struggling and I am afraid. I am afraid of releasing control and letting go. I cannot ask why, I have to trust that it is just as it should be.” Onward….