Getting Out Of The Forest

I’ve been in a forest. A metaphorical, thick, forest; trees so tall.  A forest where some of you have been.  Moonlight struggles to get through the overlapping, entangled, limbs and boughs.  The sun does not always waste it’s time on a wounded, weathered, soul, in an unforgiving wood.  Perception can be mutinous.  

 “Why have I spent time in that forest?”  

“Because it’s where I am supposed to be.”

 Mutinous perception.  More accurately, a lie.  It’s not where I belong.  Hmmm … I must remember that.  “Where am I supposed to be?” Maybe we know where we are supposed to be. Or,  not.  Maybe it is more about vision; honorable longings; redemptive passion.  To follow, and walk out, the vision.  To release that which is good, the passion that speaks of who we are.

 

It Is Spring, It Is Not, It Is Good

This post was to go out a couple of weeks ago.  Bummer.

I thought I would hold off before I stood up on a chair and belt out a song and a yawp of joy … Spring has been elusive, winter waiting until our guard was down, believing that Spring was bully here … and then rushing in like fierce snow birds, snow bunnies, snow squirrels.  Now, I think that the snow is over, for the year.  True, anything can happen.  Snow in June?? Not yet.  The injustice, here, is that Spring has almost flown the coop; slipped out the back, Jack; gone for the year … We may have a little  Spring left.   Those seasons, they keep changing. Such a simple statement, with profound implications.  Our seasons in our lives, they look different for all of us.   Me … I belief that I am in a season where I’m breaking through barriers of resistance.  It is one thing to decide that it is your / my season … to break through barriers; and an entirely different matter to do it.  This idea (you have already heard about)  that sometimes the places we are at in life, struggling with certain issues, difficulties, offer us something, like a “pay-off”, and because of that we choose to stay, to linger, in these places.  Those places might be in a desolate canyon with very few trees.  Or, anxiety is dominant, or we wear depression like a heavy wool topcoat.  And some might say that we struggle to move on, to move out, of those places … because we find some paradoxical comfort there.  Maybe it is “the known”, versus “the unknown”.  My final thought is this.  For us to break through the barriers of a difficult season: we need a blend of specific, trustworthy, wise, supportive, and sensitive  sojourners to walk with us; and we also need to embrace the reality that we must have some time to “sit in” a desert place of pain, to think through the process, the motives for wanting to leave what is familiar, and the implications of stepping into (again) the unknown.  Peace be with you, sojourning bloggers.  And, keep writing.

Healer in the Wilderness

“Healer”, not literally.  In the realm of relationships, “healer” connects with change.  “We are hurt in relationships, we find healing in relationships.”  (Anonymous).   This post is a metaphorical narrative.

The healer …

comes to the thick of the wilderness, starts her fire, stokes the fire, pulls a few sitting-stumps close, and sits by the fire. The healer’s eyes are  kind, with a spark; seeing deeper into the wilderness of men and women.  Seasoned, calm countenance, the healer brings to the wilderness hope … hope never given lightly, never received lightly. This healer is a redemptive disruptor. 

Sojourners come to this place in the wilderness to see the healer, to sit by the fire; a fire that brings light in the night.  Some sojourners want to be known, want to be seen; others cautious of being known, being seen.  The fire is a healing process: at times unpleasant, illuminating incorrect thinking, problematic emotions.  Sojourners face the healing of the flame, with different styles of avoidance. In the wilderness, some  things need to change, some things need to go.

Sojourner sits across from the healer, the other side of the fire; cautiously and respectfully, for a short period. The healer listens, thinks about the spoken, thinks about the unsaid.  The healer speaks, while listening, her words are healing words; questions intentional; silence accentuated.  I am reminded of a dialog in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (my paraphrase):

Peter:  “Is he (Aslan the lion) safe?”

Mr. Beaver: “Is he safe?  No!  He is not safe.  But he is good.”

The healer’s eyes, not always safe.  But they are good.  Change agents are that way.  The healer’s mind is good, but not readable.  The healer’s work is important, but not predictable.  The sojourner’s stay is for a short time, meeting with the healer; leaves with peace; a sacred, arcane, peace.

Fire / http://www.rasalilafest.com/empowerment-drum-circle-by-campfire

 

 

 

Relationships, Reality & Redemption

What do I know to be true?  Know yourself, and I will know myself, and if I come up short in that area, then … then … What?  Then what?  Oh, my!  Maybe the earth will rip off its axis and hurl into the sun!!!!

No, I doubt that will happen.  Here’s one truth about me: I am able.  I am able to do both good, and not-so-good.  I am able to empower (good).  I am able to enable (bummer, not-so-good).  I’ve walked with many folks over the last 20 years in the counseling context.  And in the realm of addictions, I have encountered the “enabling” dynamic a great deal.  And, if an individual is an “enabler”, that does not mean … that their heart is not good.  In fact, with every enabler I have sat with, there has always been a good heart.  We, with our good hearts, are able to miss the bigger picture, to mess up the smaller picture.  And we, with our good hearts, are able to walk with a soul and inspire, without many words.  We, with our good hearts, are able to run races with specific individuals who have come into our world who want to run well, with love in their hearts … a healthy love, an empowering love, a fragrant love, a tough love, a tough love not without honor, a tough love not without integrity, a tough love not without gentleness.

I am able.  I am able to go after myself with rocks and razored insults; rage and disgust.  There is a fancy word for it, I think: “self-contempt”.  Truly, I am not exempt from self-contempt.  And, truly, there is no exemption from redemption.

And, to use the title of one of my favorite films, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, there is an indescribably intense piece of fighting with honor and love and fairness and staying in the place of a safe place.  Not fighting with physical warfare.  Not fighting with psychological abuse; or verbal abuse; or emotional abuse.  No … this is a fighting where, at the core, is a deep authentic love for the other; caring for the other; and choosing to not let the other “off the hook” … because that is the last thing we need, to escape the responsibility of loving well and “doing relationship” well.

And that is all I’m going to say about that, for now.

Winter Happening, Just Outside

This was meant to go out a couple of days ago, but a case of “brain-freeze” got the best of me.  I recently emerged from the hellish cerebral blizzard.

Ice
Ice hanging out

4.6 (degrees) … farenheit … below the ZERO mark.  I’m low on mercury.  Snow blower earlier in the day, to get out.  With 4.6 degrees riding below the big zero, my thoughts froze up; for a moment I had no idea where I was.  Then, from somewhere toward the back wall of my brain, I heard a distant motor of the snow blower.  The sound became louder, gradually, and louder, and louder.  Then the heat from the handles mixed with the rude awakening of my rotors hitting a rock brought me back to some level of winterized coherency. 

Tree Green

I love Winter, and I hate Winter; and I love Winter.  I like Winter, at times.  At other times I don’t like it.  Outside with audacious, sharp, wind, there is some measure of invigoration: AWAKEN O SLEEPER !  Tree green, accentuated with snow; long, long icycles hanging on for dear life from the edges of the roof.  Ambivalence is strong when mercury is low, snow is deep.  Maybe it is more about this season in particular.

T Standing
T Standing

Tree green and snow

There has been loss, and everyone experiences loss at one time or another.  In some cases  loss is more of a bite.  This compilation, psychologically vicious.  I am moving, constantly moving, into the next step, into the next bend.  But I don’t think I am moving fast enough.  Healing is happening, some days.  Other days, its all frozen up, as if I had stopped moving in sub-zero temperature, and I stand in the cold, for what seems like years but may be only ten to fifteen minutes, and just listen.  I don’t know what I am listening for: maybe an answer; maybe a question that will get me closer to an answer; maybe for an idea that will bring some thaw, that will get me moving again, past the cold, the isolation, the pain of knowing that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.

The good news, for ALL of us, is that we still hope, even if some things don’t turn out the way we wanted.  Why wouldn’t we?