buffer, catalysing, Depression, dream-like consciousness, get out of Dodge, Guru, karmas, Money, obligations, past life karmas, PTSD, Reality, Society of Beggars, The Matrix, thousand shredded pieces, uphill shit-fight, Waking up, Yoga
Ahhh, more turns of the wheel are completed! Hear them? Clink-clack-clink-clack as the cycle repeats and once again, wherein patterns I thought I’d shed reappear and remind me it’s not over yet… not yet, don’t drop that mallet and chisel until every line is smooth and true.
I tried a little more honesty with my sister today as she prepared her family to leave the country for a month, only weeks ahead of when I myself, was meant to be going away. My parents are already out of the country themselves.
This, at a time where my life… well, it’s still in a thousand shredded pieces around my feet. My sister’s only words were to “think positively”, which caused me to laugh derisively. What do you think I’ve been doing all these years? Thinking positively doesn’t always work…
There’s this thing you’re meant to do see, when people are leaving on a trip. Be happy and excited for them – and I am. But, my entire family is not in the country at a time when hey, if they were gonna be supportive in any way, right now would be really great. I still have that fantasy to some degree, that one day they will actually be there for me when I need them the most.
And so I couldn’t be all just hey, how wonderful it is that you’re going away! Which wasn’t fun for either of us, but at least it was honest.
Am I feeling sorry for myself? Desperate? Incredibly unsure as I once again face a gaping void of complete and utter un-surety? Perhaps, yeah. But I think there’s more to it than that.
The honesty I tried to share with my sister is really about coming to terms with what I’ve done with my time here since returning to my home town. It’s true, none of it has really worked out the way I wanted, expected or imagined. But then, does anything, ever?
Actually, all of this reminds me of something a good friend of mine told me once: when he got his very first motorbike as a teenager, he took it to pieces in order to learn how to put it back together. That resonates with my experience of life… it had to come apart in every possible way because of my intense curiosity about how we ‘work’ as human beings.
It’s been like that since I was very young, and has only intensified over the years, especially once I met my Guru (and y’know, those kind of teachers are renowned for catalysing your karmas!). Having a Guru is not for the faint of heart!
So it’s all stuff I’ve asked for, sort of. Well, what I asked for and very specifically took vows to do, was a commitment to waking up from the dream-like consciousness that we humans generally function in. That’s how we manage to get by in this funny old existence… while we yearn for unity with everything around us and at the same time, mostly feel completely separate and isolated. But there’s another game we can play, if we’re willing!
Being a yogi and also, being a yoga teacher… does NOT mean that I’m automatically an angelic and together person. I’m not better than anyone else. I haven’t dealt with all of my stuff (and if you think you have, you’re probably lying to yourself!). In fact, the very work of being a yogi involves getting uncomfortably intimate with the truth.
A sister yogi and I were recently discussing life lessons, and she suggested that perhaps they present themselves in an appropriate way for our personality display. Like… for the fiery types that she and I both are, we can not be reached with lessons unless they too, are fiery. To really learn and grow, we need to be jolted and shocked out of our complacency in a way that makes sense to us.
Most people don’t want any part of such lessons and so they buffer and buffer… reality has to knock really loudly to be heard. Most of the time, the call goes unanswered, because it is truly painful to even begin the process of really waking up.
Think of everything that happens in The Matrix when humans are plucked out of the CPU of human minds created by the machines – there’s nothing particularly comfortable about it (that movie in fact, is quite accurate in explaining some of the enlightenment process, to a point anyway), and one of the characters (Cypher) even wants to “forget” the truths he learned:
You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.
~Cypher, The Matrix
And so… I ask myself if it’s possible that I could’ve learned what I needed to learn about anger, sadness, desire, grace, compassion, love, trust, listening to my intuition and a whole bunch more… another way? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. And if that’s the case, it’s impossible to feel unhappy about it. And yet… here I am, still facing so much uncertainty. Still feeling like it’s a complete uphill shit-fight to develop a more stable structure for my life.
Or, maybe I’m just not meant to have that kind of stability and this fight isn’t going to get me anywhere?
It’s hard to say without further guidance. And the annoying thing about my intuitive gift is that it doesn’t work on command, and it also doesn’t give me the big picture very often.
So here I am, still feeling like I’m “stuck” in Melbourne. In almost six years, I’ve managed to recover from PTSD without medication, I mostly have a handle on my depression tendencies and I’ve gained yoga teacher qualifications. None of this is what I came back here for…
The reason I did come back is because it seemed like the right thing to do. Because I was fulfilling a long-held pact between my sister and I… and if you buy into past life karmas in anyway, then I’ll add this: the pact was not just of this life-time. Anyway, that’s arbitrary for those who are dismissive of such things.
Since my return, I’ve put my family’s needs and demands before my own, and generally that has not been returned in kind. Especially when I was doing everything in my power to cultivate an air of normalcy over my completely abnormal state of mind. Apparently I did a really good job of that.
Because when asked point blank – What did you think when you saw me shaking and bruised and distraught and unable to sleep? Why didn’t anybody consider that perhaps getting assaulted wasn’t something you could get over in a single week or even a month? Why didn’t anyone in my family ring me? Call to see if I was okay? Check if I was eating? Encourage me to get help? – the answer was that they didn’t see.
This is despite both my mother and my sister accompanying me to court on two separate occasions and witnessing how I could barely speak about what happened. How my entire body shook in fear. They wondered why I didn’t invite anyone over to my place, but didn’t bother to find out why. They noticed that my behaviour changed, but didn’t question it except to think that something was “wrong” with me. Something that was my own problem, and nothing they could help me with. They didn’t even try. I don’t blame them as such, because I get that they have so much going on in their own lives that they simply couldn’t see. Or didn’t want to.
However, I now feel like I’ve fulfilled whatever obligations I had to my family in returning home. I have a very strong urge to get out of Dodge, and yet I don’t know where I’m meant to be instead. Also, I have a bit of an issue with money in that I don’t seem to be able to get a job… and a job = money = the ability to do whatever I need to do…
So yes, I am frustrated. And I wish it was me heading overseas. And I feel very humble at the same time, which is perhaps a contradiction. But it’s true.
I feel the need to spread my wings but it seems I’ve forgotten how to fly…
Now returning you to your regular viewing…
P.S. What I really wanted to do was to find y’all a copy of one of my new favourite songs online. BUT the band is so new that they’ve only got one or two songs on You Tube so far, and not the one I wanted to share. The band is an Aussie one, called Society of Beggars. You can check ’em out on MySpace!
**UPDATE** I got an email from someone in the Society of Beggars camp via Facebook, and they sent me this link where you can download the entire album! 😉
P.P.S. This is another one of those posts where I seriously had to think hard about whether I should publish it at all. But heck, this kind of honesty is what my blog was founded on… And y’know, real life isn’t neat and tidy with story lines that always wrap with “happily ever after”.
re: honesty: it’s what keeps me coming back… it’s not always a breath of fresh air, but it’s true.
Dear dear Svastiji… I have been in that place more times than I can count. In fact, I was there just the other day. Blech, horrible place.
Self-pity is not pretty, and indulging in it never makes us feel better. Worse, it prevents us from moving forward.
Instead, we need to dig deep and pull out our strength. If you’re fiery, use it to your advantage: tell that self-pity to fuck off. You are so much stronger than that.
You write: “That resonates with my experience of life… it had to come apart in every possible way because of my intense curiosity about how we ‘work’ as human beings.” That shows me that you DO know how to fly. You wanted all of this, and you know exactly what you’re doing, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I commend you for your strength, my sister. Keep it up.
Y is for Yogini said:
i love your honesty. i, too have those moments where i ask myself if i should post certain things. and then i say, “fuck it! this is me, this is my blog, i’ll post what i want to!” 🙂 it feels good.
won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah!
Svasti … From this long distance I am standing right beside you. xoxo Jaliya
Wow, Svasti–I related to this post on *so many* different levels! First, the tension between you and your sister–I totally get that and it really does remind me of my own sibling relationship. It’s just like my sister (too) to say, “think positively” –when of course that is what I do too. I hate it when people assume that I am not thinking positively–particularly when they don’t even really know!
Also, I related to what you said about being a yogi and having people always think you are so together and always happy. No one is! 🙂 I get that all the time–people expect me to be perfect because I am ‘in recovery.’ It surprises them when I have a bad emotional day or react strongly to something. I am human!
And so are you, my dear–and what a blessing it has been to get to know you over the last 2 years (wow!). I cannot wait to meet you in person someday! I’m either coming to Australia–or you’re coming to beautiful SF!!
@emma – Thanks so much, Emma. I really appreciate that you think that way 🙂
@Louise – Dear Sadhaka-sister-ji (for I think you are, yes?), THANK YOU for your words. My goodness, it’s so nice to have someone tell me like it is in that way. Thank you again. Your words rang true when I needed to hear them xo
@Y is for Yogini – I think there’s a danger as we continue to blog, and feel like we “know” some of the people who read our blogs… to be less honest because it’s no longer so anonymous. But if I’m going to stop being honest, then I might as well stop writing!
@Jaliya – As I am beside you, dear lady!
@Melinda – Those who’ve never faced adversity head-on, really and truly faced it, and those who’ve never really had many bad things happen in their life… well, they can’t understand, I think. Of course, we want to think positively, but hey, when you’re in the middle of a fat stretch of hell, all you can think about is survival, not positivity!! And I KNOW you get that!
And it’s so true – no one is. I would have also thought some people might think being a psychology professor would mean you’d have to be “together” but definitely no one is all of the time. And if they think they are, then as I said, they’re lying to themselves!
You are someone I know I will definitely get to meet at some point, Melinda. Because I really want to! I know we will have so much fun when we do. 🙂