I woke up today at 9:44am. I was having a dream about going back to graduate school, and after less than careful deliberation I decided on a definite “no”. Actually, more like a “hell no” came up. Had I decided to go, in this dream, I would have been required to take not one but two of my most hated subjects at 3-hour intervals every other day for the entire term. Who could even guess what the term after that would be like – and, I thought, who had time to care (certainly not me). Now, if it were one of my most hated subjects and a second subject that I could at least get into, maybe even desire wholeheartedly to take, then I would have snagged the bait. The “hell no” came up when it became something of a chore where no love of learning would be had.
It was clear – my heart just wasn’t in it. What is my heart into? What does my heart desire? I’ve had this thought come through with other bits of information lately about what it is to truly love something. I know what it feels like to love something because my energy pours out without any effort and without any expectation of recognition or return on my “investment”. And, I know what it feels like to love something to the point of exhaustion too. The kind of love where eventually I want to yell at the sky and flip the bird at anything that slowly starts to suck the power and life out of me – those sneaky progressions of masked evil, of deceptive love, where I am suddenly expected to fill a role, a need, a desire. The kind of completely dysfunctional and draining love where the list of demands to fix how they feel piles up far higher than my energy-for-others limit. The kind of love where I suddenly find myself serving and sacrificing as a scapegoat for issues completely outside of my scope of responsibility. One is a healthy form of love; one is not. Guess which one is which.
I’ve certainly cleansed my life of most forms of love that are really just toxic vampires in unicorn costumes. And, thank god I know what it feels like to be mindful, understanding, accepting and compassionate toward both myself and others for all of the abuses to the heart. The easy part is letting go, forgiving, and moving on. The hard part is settling back into the mindset and vibration that I am still, as I remember being and always have been, equally worthy to receive the kind of love I am capable of giving and have given. I’m not talking about those certain lesser forms of love that people toss around unconsciously for various stereotypical American reasons. No, no, I’m not talking about compliments. While the exchange of love does exist in some form with random on-the-street complimentary verbiage, it doesn’t really cross my mind to think, “how lovely that this person likes my blouse” or, “how uplifting that this person digs my earrings” or, “how sweet that this guy thinks my ass looks good in this skirt and also thinks it’s OK to grab it”. The closest thing to a nice compliment based solely on outward appearances (and not my inner being) that I have ever received went something like, “I really like your style – you seem creative“. Now we are not just talking about material objects that I just so happen to be donning (or, what some think is just a material object with no soul attached to it) – now we are talking about a charming stroke of the ego.
Still, I’m not talking about that kind of love. I’m talking about the kind of loyal, committed, honest, open, non-judgmental, and heart-centered love where there exist very few issues with sharing because an empire of trust has been built. Where questions are asked because of genuine interest and childlike curiosity. Where true listening happens so that true bonds of connection and relatedness form. And, when that does not or cannot happen, it is expressed and respected no matter what. I’m talking about compliments that say, “you have such a strength and vulnerability about you that I admire” or, “you just fill the room with a certain loving light when you enter” or, “I love you because you are you“. I am not fully settled there even though I have that kind of love with my nearest and dearest friends because part of me is on the lookout for more unicorns in disguise. The one-sided relationship dynamic has very nearly vanished though – and for all of that true, healthy love that I am so blessed to have in my life, I want to say thank you.
And, I also want to say thank you to the guy who bought my Starbucks this morning. Yes, you – the guy in the white SUV in front of me in the Starbucks drive-thru line at approximately 11:08am. It was completely unexpected, and it has totally kept me in a good mood the whole day. I watched a movie last night that made your simple act of paying it forward (literally) quite synchronous, and I kid you not, my slightly jaded state that human beings are mostly just self-absorbed fucks has been restored (at least temporarily) back to a state of enthusiasm and faith. So, thank you.
Today: the war on terror and terribleness ONE; the “Sneaky Hate Spiral” ZERO. Please see Allie Brosh’s hilarity at http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html. Please. Particularly if you’re having, well, one of those days where the war on terror and terribleness get so confusing that they go into negative digits like our near 17 trillion-dollar debt.
“Turkey was the medicine of many saints and mystics…Your virtues are many. You have transcended self. You act and react on the behalf of others. You aspire to help those who need help. This is not out of some sense of self-righteous moralism or religious guilt. Help and sustenance are given by Turkey out of the realization that all life is sacred. It is knowing that the Great Spirit resides within all people. It is an acknowledgment that what you do for others you do for yourself. Turkey medicine rests in true ego, in enlightenment…you may feel the ‘spirit of giving’ growing within you, and wanting to share with others”. -Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards
Image (Top): Deviant Moon Tarot Card Deck, 6 of Pentacles, by Patrick Valenza
Image (Middle): Sacred Path Cards, No. 43 Give-Away Ceremony, by Jamie Sams & David Carson, Illustration by Angela Werneke
Image (Bottom): Medicine Cards, No. 31 Turkey, by Jamie Sams, Illustration by Linda Childers