Friday, July 6, 2018
Surrendering to Solitude
I've been out here in the woods for about nine days. Other than my boyfriend who has come over a few times, I haven't had any visitors or met many people. I realize, without the regular distractions, so much comes up for me to confront. There's nowhere to hide out here. In Seattle, my old stomping grounds, I could easily pick up the phone and meet a friend within an hour. If I was bored or restless, I could go to a movie, the gym, a restaurant, shopping, etc. Out here, there are those distractions, but I'm further away from everything. It's seems like the land beckons me to stay with the uncomfortableness and not runaway.
But it's hard! There's some deep-rooted sorrow and sadness coming up. Here I am alone with a dog out in the woods. I don't have a family or pets or a home to call my own even. I just have a small storage unit, my car and that's about it. I have my boyfriend, but sometimes I feel so far away from him too. I love him, but there's so much change going on on the inside and it's hard to express what I'm going through. Instead of feeling surrounded by love and friends, I have been feeling quite alone and, well, LONELY!
Yet, I keep putting myself in these situations. I chose to go to the woods alone. Last January, I chose to go to upcountry Maui to housesit alone on 17 acres, far from any people, for two months. Continuously, I have been choosing to remove myself from the world and go inward.
Strangely, what I've discovered, is that I want community, a lover, a life with pets in a sanctuary that I can call my own. I don't know where that home will be. Maybe, by uprooting myself, I am opening myself up to finding those things. I feel like I should not be in a hurry to plunk myself down again. I feel, as unsettling as it is, I am meant to go with the wind for awhile. I'm meant to discover what the world has in store for me without forcing it all to fall into place. I am meant to be with the unknown for a while, however unsettling that is.
Right now, I'm upstairs at my writing desk in the mandala house (round house) in Port Townsend. The dog, Indio, is asleep on the rug next to me. I'm looking out at the tops of pine trees, the last bit of blue sky and glowing pink clouds from the sun that has set.
The silence is sometimes deafening out here. I'm not used to it. It calls me to stop and be still, but there's a fear in that too. I have done lots of meditation in my past, but I don't know why I fight being still and doing nothing. To be alone with myself for days without any interaction with other fellow humans is challenging.
What is it about that word that is frightening? It almost feels that if I'm always in motion and do-ing, my life has meaning. If I stop and do nothing, there's a feeling of not having a purpose or point. I fear that I could just disappear out here.
And I still have twenty days to go! Whoa.
So what was my purpose in coming out here? I wanted this solitude. I wanted to be alone to write and tune in. I chose this. My body, mind and spirit were on overdrive in the city. I was teaching 60 students at the community college and trying to move out of my home of twelve years.
There was no BALANCE. I craved nothingness. I craved an endless stretch of time to do nothing.
And now I have it!
Isn't it strange? Humans always want what they don't have. As soon as they have it, they want something else.
So instead of running away from or changing or distracting myself from where I am right now, I am choosing to surrender to it.
What happens if I surrender to this moment right now? What happens if I accept it and even enjoy it? What happens if I forgive myself for saying or doing things I regret? What happens if I love myself and realize that this moment is perfect as it is—that nothing needs to be added or subtracted from what is happening now? It is perfect in it's own way. This is easy when things are going smoothly, but so hard when things aren't. I spent years practicing Vipassana meditation and learning to accept things as they are, not as I'd like them to be. My teacher S. N. Goenka used to say, "As it is, not as you want it to be!" Yet, I'm still working on this. I still fall down, act badly, lose my footing, fall on my face and then berate myself for these things, rather than accepting that everything is okay just as it is.
I AM OKAY JUST AS I AM.
I know this is my challenge out here: To accept things as they are and to accept myself as I am. To love myself and my life right now. To surrender to the solitude.
Physically I have been feeling a lot of burning in my body and mind. It's been going on for awhile. It's no wonder I'm writing a book called Venus on Fire. The burning shows up as burning, irritated skin on my body and anger, lots of fiery anger, in my mind. My spirit, or oversoul as I liked to call it sometimes, is clear. I am clear in my higher purpose: To follow my heart and share with others what I discover. It feels like I'm waiting for my body and mind to catch up with my spirit.
Maybe my skin burns or itches because I'm literally in need of shedding my skin. I can't fit in it anymore. And maybe the anger is a part of being afraid to let go and let things be as they are, even if others don't accept them or me.
What if I allowed my skin to shed and my mind to release this pressure? What if I gave myself permission to remain as an empty vessel, open to receiving new information? What if I let myself be who I am right now?
I'm going to give it a try....