Friday, October 31, 2014

On the road to good enough, or possibly better

In my family we spoke of saving things "for good."  The long-term effect of that is, whether or not a situation is good enough, I sense that I am probably not.  It is startling, actually horrifying, to discover ways in which I've been holding myself hostage, even as I thought (with my mind, that Quisling) I was evolving, moving forward, leaving old beliefs and patterns behind.  Which I was, with a few searing exceptions.
As do most of my brethren, I have almost maniacal affection for journals and sketchbooks.  This is not new.  Before I began drawing with serious intent, I gathered the budget-priced, spiral-bound subject notebooks at the back-to-school sales and used them to keep track of most things.  Unlike my mixed-media fellows, I do not begin at once to fill those journals with backgrounds, quotes, collages, stenciling, confessions, fears and musings.  With what I now identify as a deep wariness, I put off filling those blank pages with anything for which I have no guarantee of good enough.  Realizing the magnitude of derangement in this belief makes me cringe.  I speak of it here, in the open, because I suspect I'm not the only one.  With me it is the pristine journal and other things which may or may not be explored later.  For you it may be that or something comparable which you deny yourself for no other reason than an underlying doubt of deservingness.  And that you've done it this way for so long, it feels, well, normal.

Browsing through Anne Lamott's illustrated quotes this morning brought me to tears.  In my unwritten (mostly) manifesto, one of the basic beliefs is that everything is process.  Everything takes as long as it takes and that is often very, very long.  It is the unfolding of an intricate origami piece to see how it was created.  All is patience, patience generously drizzled with the tangy-sweet lemon glaze of love.  Evolution is the teacher that causes us to fall in love with ourselves in spite of how unsuitable we think we are.  A self-identified usual suspect.

So once again I am in the midst of process.  As familiar as this terrain is, I hope I am not merely dragging myself around in a circle, covering the same ground again and again.   I trust it is the spiral path described by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis in their book,  The Courage to Heal.  Though the view seems the same, we have actually reached another level.

A few weeks back I wrote about a sense of change.  In a tribute to intuition and my willingness to pay it heed, it seems I was not mistaken.  The newest increment of self-acceptance, enhanced self-care, attempting to usher shame to the exit and not for the first time for it is a stubborn lodger, and intensifying compassion for self and all it/I have experienced, finds me considerably older than I once was, more weary yet more optimistic.  I have become better at quieting the fear-driven mind and linking arms with the love-centered heart and spirit.  I can, I do, show up.  Everything is process.  Here we are again.

(In case this might interest you, I'll share the link to a recent podcast by an energy healer whose work I admire and trust.  Her name is Jo Dunning.  A long-time friend studied with her and introduced me to her work.  In this program, she speaks of the difference between mind and intuition, of radical compassion, especially for self, and explains the way her energy is able to be transmitted even via electronic media, even replays.  And she talks of finding our own way through our greatest difficulties, of not coming to a teacher as anything but an equal.  I found it strengthening.  We each have our unique journey. The replay will, I believe, be available through this weekend.)


Melissa Green said...

Oh, as if you didn't need telling, Marylinn, you are so loved. You say so clearly what many of us are still in the corner, cringing over, unable to even mumble what still feels unspeakable. And we come here, and between you and the forthright Anne Lamont, we're given the next paving stones which we have to put down in our own lives in order to move forward.

I know from my experience that, though it feels like we've come to the same place yet again, it only looks identical--it isn't, for the process has taken us far afield, and brought us back to a nearby peak where we have the chance to see where we once were, and to start--not over again because it isn't the same path at all, it's only familiar---to start a fresh, to start anew, iin shoes that may pinch less, with a practically invisible swag in our step, breathing more deeply, head a little less bowed. Shame, that quisling (oh, how I love your style!) is exceptionally hard to rid oneself of. Shame will not be dynamited out of your life lightly. But given how much you love, the generosity of your heart, the wisdom of your soul, you are clearly more than good enough. But that revelation, the light that dawns on Marblehead, will come when it's ready and not before. It's a process. And so many people are walking with you, who know you well, who love you just as you are, who will walk to the ends of the earth and further, knowing absolutely how perfect and very human and incredibly dear you are. xoxo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - Dear friend and blessing, thank you. Even if I shuffle, don't step out smartly as a friend used to say, it is still showing up. Right now, songs with the theme of "I drove all night to get to you" seem to be playing in my head. I suppose we are always in process of coming home to our true selves, we knew we were out there somewhere, or certainly hoped we were. Our own soul mates, antsy behind the wheel while also sitting on the porch steps, studying the pleasing design of our flowered socks as we listen for the car that slows, turns the corner and glides up to the curb. xo

Elizabeth said...

This is such a powerful post -- in describing your own intuition, your own hesitant process, you've helped me to think about something intensely personal in a different way. THANK YOU. Sometimes it's just overwhelming -- this community of souls.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you. This community of souls, for it is just that, astonishes me every day in one way or another. I'm so glad there was something here for you. xo