Let me not be trite: this isn't homework nor philosophical navel gazing. This was having my heart broken and sniveling my way through the weekend. It wasn't the end of the world. It was just old old family stuff, and the way you continue to look for family approval and support even when you know better. Ought to know better after 35 years. Still, though, you go looking. Love is a dog's heart and it begs.
And it will always hurt when it gets betrayed. And you will continue to feel afraid and alone, so long as you are doing important things.
I know all of that, theoretically.
But I sniveled and slunk down the kitchen cabinets until I was sitting on the kitchen floor and wondered at how my eyes could faucet. How they pour and pour.
This is the thing, the practice: It occured to me that there is an energy created by hurt. I let go, surrendered. Surrender gives us velocity.
The body is a threshold. The body is a door.
More often than not, pain is the catalyst that moves us. More often than not, we 'change' and 'grow' with varying amounts of grace and muttering. We sputter and wince. It hurts, this.
The art of being alive and waking up forces a certain amount of loss and grief and fear into not only our consciousness, but the fabric of our bones and the tissues of our viscera. Letting go - into heartbreak or anxiety or joyful anticipation - revs up a kind of expansion and fruition. It makes of us a forcefield of kinetic fire, flickering under the skin.
Movement - I mean yoga and breath and hands - are a doorway. A threshold. A thing to hold onto with both hands when the room is dark or the world spins. But a creative way into your own forces. Body, breath, hand is an alchemy of anxiety, pain, uncertainty potently changed into the very thing that helps us find our feet and know who we are.
On the whole, you'd think 'spirituality' and successs in life are built on a theory of bliss and abundance. On propserity and getting over adversity. Positive thinking wants to build structures so big and powerful it would take an army tank of disappointment to break through. Or, to avoid that disappointment, we'll simplify ourself to ghosts, zen ourselves so abstract there is nothing left to lose. Or we get so busy we don't have time to feel the losses. We'll medicate with drugs, alcohol, food. Sex. Tuning out in front of the television or retreating to ordinary mediocrity. Perhaps sales of anti depressants and anti anxiety meds are so high, and self help gurus send messages to avoid responsibiity abnd pain - because all of that is easier than looking at heartbreak and learning how to deal with it.
We know how to push through our fears and feelings in frenzied attempts to achieve goals. But we know precious little about how to suffer gracefully and productively when we are up against forces we can't control.
I think this is an excercise - a movement - of spirit. I think it is movement that gives us spirit.
Happiness, I think, is not an absence of pain, but an understanding of pain. That joy is in it, somewhere.
This isn't intended to be an essay on the bleakness or the necessity of human hurt. It is simply a noticing how powerful our fires inside are, and wonder what might happen when we open ourselves up - appropriately, for our own dancing - to vulnerability. To seeing power where power is: in shaking hands and locked up throat.