Waiting For The Knock At My Door
It’s not currently morning but it will be for my mother when she reads this, and I owe her a greeting. Or three.
I’ve absorbed a lot of beautiful words, poems, and internal whispers, in the last week or so. The past two have been a brutal and beautiful (what Glennon Doyle would call brutiful) undoing. I come to these unravelings on a semi-regular basis, I think. I couldn’t clock it, but maybe every 4 to 6 months. More than quarterly, less than monthly. And in them, I have never ceased to find undeniable truths. In them, I have cried so much I thought I might not be able to stop and might have to go to work with a box of tissues just in case. I am taught again and again what it is to hold oneself and to allow oneself to be held by others.
And by heavens, am I held. This is the difficult no, over the easy yes. It is returning to yourself and stopping the “oh but I should”, and leaning a little further over the edge than you dare to think but what if I didn't? And sometimes this works in the opposite manner. I lead with what I could do rather than what I should do, or I lead with what I know instead of what I have convinced myself is the right story to plug into.
It is in this moment, in the dark undoing that I recognise what I called weak, but know is simply a human desire for a knock at the door. It is what I think may be the salvation in a single rap-tap-tap. I don't know whether it is or not because I have become accustomed to locking this metaphorical door. That is to say, if I can feel the sink incoming, and I begin to panic and wish that one perilous truth of the human condition — that while we can be beyond intimately connected, no one can ever know what you experience within — could just be uno-reversed for a moment so I could have a hug and perhaps a chocolate and cocoon again before returning to the work that must be done alone.
I decided to test it out. That’s not true. Some people who know me well sensed the slow sink and decided to pull me out to dinner. And hold, and sit, and listen, and croon, and give me pizza and laughter and conversation. And another sat while I tried to reckon with my own undoing from the passenger seat. Taught me a card game, and gave me a blade to wield.
So there are knocks, I know. Sometimes.
Other times I decide that there will be no knock, and I should knock on my own little noggin instead and ask it questions. I will ask:
What do you want me to learn from this space that feels so crushing?
What is within this chasm? Is there some star?
Should I just sit with this and let it burn for a while?
What is this a mirror to? What is this reflecting in me?
I will prod for a while — my thinking is a relentless beast that only sleeps when it wants to — before I remember that there is a lot that I Know that I need to remember. And that is what I decided to do this time. I decided to sink into what one might call consciousness, what one could call the Golden Sun (a wonderful elderly woman gifted me this phrase at the gym the other day and I was so flabbergasted that I stood and just stared for a second too long), or the inner whisper.
What I found there is mine to know; you have your own listening to do (or not to do, obviously is up to you). But what each sink into deep anger, deep pain, deep sadness, and eventual release of my own grasp on each continues to teach me is that it pays to face it and just allow it to exist in all of its horror. Because you do come out of it with a tad more self-awareness, and it makes it somewhat impossible to return to previous, incredibly comfortable ways of thinking; it puts the stitches in ya. But in a good way. You know, in a life lessons way.
At present, I am releasing stories. By stories, I mean the conjured-up versions of what exists in the actual world that is in fact a fiction that exists for the sake of some comfort and will persist unless challenged. Mine was challenged many many many times. But like I said, my thinking mind and imagination are iron-woven and unyielding and have to be struck with some red-hot truths to face themselves. For me to face myself. So that’s what I’m doing. It sucks. I love it. I’m grateful for it. It reminds me that I am not one thing that I told myself in order to live in a constructed ideal that persisted ignorantly, but that I exist multitudinously (hey mama, isn’t that a great word?!) in the reality that is here, that is now. Gabi Abrao writes, “Do not indulge in a situation that does not exist.” “Love dies like the power goes out.”
In order to do this and still be a functional being, I read. I listen to people who have felt this way and know it is a temporary inferno. And then there is an inevitable emergence. To know, to return, to begin again. Day in. Day out. I know that I am an optimist. By that I mean that I practice looking for the innate divinity in any thing/being/experience before turning to the all-that-could-go-wrong. Please note that the operative word there is practice. I desire optimism, it fills me with joy, it fills those around me with wonder, with a smile or a laugh, and reminds them that there is beauty (even if that beauty is terrible) everywhere. So I practice it. It is what I learned from believing happiness was a temporary gift bestowed only to those who suffered enough to earn it. No longer do I believe such blatant lies. So many people I love and adore were never born into a world that told them that anything good was possible. I wish to be, at every opportunity, a reminder of the possible.
And only in succumbing to what feels to be an impossible weight, can I return to that which sings sweetly of possibility.
Alrighty. This one was both difficult to write, and simple to find words for. A lot of truth in here. I offer you the option of holding it carefully. Hope you enjoyed. Subscribe if you haven’t.
we are the mirror as well as the face in it. - rumi