Monday, January 25, 2010

Making the (right) Choice

I have made many changes in my life, some small and subtle, some ferocious and forever.  But most of those changes have been about walking away from what didn't work.  Which I am expert at.  Walking away that is.  I have been attached more to G*d and my own personal freedom than just about anything else, and so walking away was always wrapped in the illuminating halo of choosing the spiritual over the mundane.

And I've ended up in some really interesting places with some wonderful folks by leaving where I had been.  I will never think that sticking it out just for the sake of doing so is any kind of virtue.  But recently I ran up against a situation that I didn't like and didn't think could work, and knew I needed to at least remind myself that opportunity is always available, and that change is always out there waiting for me, like a sometimes lover, no expectation, but plenty of encouragement.

And after getting my bearings, I decided to do what I almost never do, and that is to see if there wasn't some way to figure it all out and make it work. Before, I'd either commit to something on the basis of pure faith, certain that it would work because it had to work.  Or I'd head in another direction, certain it wouldn't work because it didn't work.

But this has been completely different.  And I think this is part of what happens maybe when you grow up a bit and stop defending your rightness as your most valuable asset.  What happened was that I explained myself and my concerns and talked the situation through carefully and thoughtfully, and decided that staying might be very interesting.

That staying would require an level of engagement and cooperation and openness that I have never freely offered to anyone or anything here on planet earth, but that would be the perfect kind of challenge and opportunity that I needed.  It would require that I get involved and pay attention and actually listen to others and give value to what they had to say.  And that in doing so, I could make things better for everyone right where I was, instead of making things better for myself by leaving.

This is likely only radical sounding if you are as certain as I have often been that other people are mostly a nuisance.  And it's got me thinking that other people might in fact be important in my life in so many ways, and I might be potentially important in their lives as well.  And while G*d may be first, He's not first last and everything in between.  And I think He's totally cool with that.   I think He's been trying to get me to notice that for a loooooong time.

So I didn't decide to stay because my situation is perfect.  I decided to stay because it's my situation and I'm excited about what I'm learning by staying in the middle of it.  I'm learning how to use my words to say what I mean and mean what I say, and then stop talking and get to back to doing and being.  

Faith has guided my steps in this life at every turn.  This time it's faith in what's real and human and doable, and faith in myself.  I never had such grounded faith before, and I gotta say it feels pretty good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

So Much To Learn

I think the most complicated part of contemporary life is that there is just so much to learn. 

You have to learn how to use your computer, learn to drive, learn to use all the electronic devices that run your home/work/life, learn how to eat right, how to exercise right, what insurance you need, how to invest, what to wear, how to put on make-up, what to buy, when to buy it, from who to buy it for the best price, how to program the electronic devices that run your home/work/life, what medicines to take, what medicines to avoid, what to do if you have to mix medicines, what to ask, what you know that you don't know, who to support, who to vote for, which charity you can trust, what bank is safe, what's a good password to use, how to remember your good password without compromising your on-line security, how to use social networking sites, how to protect your identity in cyber-space, how to meet-up, how to hook-up, how to take it to the next level, how to end it, how to RSVP, how to handle an awkward situation, how to handle in-laws, how to handle a boss, how to write a resume, how to interview, how to negotiate a salary, how to negotiate a parking space, how to divine your purpose in life, what positive thinking makes a difference, what positive thinking is pure bullshit, when to change your oil, the right tire pressure is for your car, how to TiVo your favorite show, how to buy and eat organic.

I'm guessing as you read this you're thinking of all the things you need to learn/know/do just to get through it all yourself.

I know that body odor, lice, rotten teeth and no safe place to save money were real and serious problems for peasants in the 1600s, but sometimes I think the simplicity of such a life was worth the trade off.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Illusion and Illusionists

Neptune is still making her stealthy crawl across my chart, dissolving and eroding and revealing.  And I deal with it because there's nothing else to do about it.  I'm just now getting to the point of appreciating that what has dissolved and eroded was like barnacles on a ship's hull - stuff growing and feeding off what's inside, hiding what's beneath and impeding free flowing forward movement.

I can tell when I'm moving in the wrong direction, when things aren't feeling right, and I can even tell what's wrong, but I can't always see why I feel the way I do.  And it hit me today that I've been angry - flat out pissed off - from being disappointed by a situation I thought I had under control.  But it turns out that nothing is like I thought or understood or had tried to secure.

I was expecting good things for myself.  And I was counting on someone else's good nature to make it so.  I didn't realize how deeply I was in over my head with hoping and expecting.  Until 2010 hit, and it's suddenly obvious that none of my hoping, or the plans I built around being hopeful, had any weight in reality.  At least not in any shared reality.

And it's what Neptune has uncovered again and again over the past 4 years.  That hopes and dreams and faith are powerful, but they need grounding in the 3-dimensional time-space continuum  appearing as mutually agreed-upon reality.  And while the good nature of human beings is lovely to behold, it nothing to base your faith on.

If you are lucky, your clear communication is actually clear.  And what you meant is what someone else will understand.  And what they meant is what you will understand.  But since life these days rarely runs so smoothly, Mercury comes along and goes retrograde everyone once in a while to point out the places where the confusion exists, and the meaning has been lost.

And in these 3 blessed weeks of Mercury's apparent backward travel, what has become incredibly, indelibly clear, is that nothing is clear, nothing has been understood, and there is no mutually agreed-upon reality.  There is reality in my mind, in my imagination, and it doesn't resemble a reality that anyone seems even aware of.

I don't have a death wish (as was suggested to me), hoping for a life free from the encumbrances of  pesky humanity.  I have a life wish to have the patience it takes to work with this peculiar species, to understand their use of language and symbols, their grooming habits and social interactions, their office politics and budget priorities.

And I'm sure Neptune will keep dissolving and eroding everything that stands between me and Truth, even if it's the flimsy wall of my own thin skin.