Every year on Winter Solstice I try to meditate on a word. It is the closest I come to a New Year's resolution. Last year's word was "presence" and, admittedly, I did a piss poor job with that one. Rather than beat myself up about it (anymore than I have already), I am concluding that perhaps presence just isn't for me, at least in the new agey sense that is so popular these days. It is sort of like phrase "let it go" for me. I'm more of an "own it" type person, but along with that comes a whole host of other feelings and tendencies that dog me daily.
Honestly, this year I was contemplating not even thinking about a word. So many things have changed in my life in the last 365 days, while others have remained utterly the same. I've had time for life to gel and I have my wits back about me, but I am still in a state of flux in terms of how/where I want to land on a more permanent basis. I feel like I'm still renting a life right now, actually. Is it a bit closer to who I am? Sure, but my suitcases are not fully unpacked. I've not completely nested because I can't. I'm not yet to my destination and I've invested all in the transfer station (AKA my residence and surroundings) that I'm going to invest on any substantial basis. I am simply maintaining what I have and planning the next leg of my journey.
So, as Solstice rolled around and I found myself, yet again, in some odd state of regret and fear I got to thinking about owning things, about presence, about letting go... And a lightning bolt smacked me in the head and I realized that my words and thoughts are categorized into those that are passive and those that demand (at least by my definition) action. So, presence to me, is a passive state, and for me it simply doesn't work. That isn't to say it doesn't work for others. It just doesn't reflect the way my mind operates.
Letting go doesn't work either. To me, it is a state of defeat. I know (logically) it isn't. But, in my mind it means surrender and that is not something I do well. And I know that part of "growth" is to explore and embrace what we don't do well, but again, in my mind and in my own cellular make-up my soul speaks to me to use my darkness, to sit with it, acknowledge it, speak to it and engage it. So, if I can't wrap my head around letting go, I instead wrap my head around owning stuff and then purposefully, ritualistically, putting it to rest. For a supposedly free-flowing Pisces all this has always been really bothersome to me - this need for forward movement and action. I almost feel like my birth certificate was forged.
Anyway - I digress. So, enter a particularly odd conversation I was having with myself the other day while visioning this farm I hope to find (and move to) in 2016.
I was thinking about a lot of things and I got around to discussing in my head all the fear, sorrow, guilt, social norms, expectations (self imposed or outside), the past, the perceived future, despair, sadness, hopelessness, anger, uncertainty (goes along with fear because really, isn't everything technically uncertain?), fodder (in person and on-line), pain, mindlessness, abuse, personal shortcomings and other things that go bump in the night, the word liberation popped into my head.
What an odd word to pop into that conversation. Such an active and aggressive word for a downtrodden conversation. I felt it must be important and so it became my word. I felt it SO important I was moved to name a new page after it. A word of action. A word of work, of toil, sweat, tears and freedom. Freedom from whatever it is that holds a us back from living an uncommon life full of one's own individual soul. So full we are drunk on her and unafraid of what she wants (or doesn't want). So brave that we ask her first if this or that serves her instead of automatically acquiescing because it is learned, habitual and expected.
The task is daunting. When I think about everything I've listed above I realize that there are a million things I need to leave behind in order to continue to grow. So many comforts I need to shed, so many useless things that no longer serve me. Sometimes I wonder if I walk away from them all, will there actually be anything left of me? Am I simply made up of all the things I fear, all the guilt that drives me? Am I Catholic and just don't know it? Honestly though, there is an enormous amount of it all and I fear (there is that word again) that if all the things I'm desperate to be rid of are actually gone I'll just blow away like burned paper...
So, obviously, I'm not sure where liberation will lead me. The only oppressing tyrant that looms over me is of my own making. Choices and turns in the road that stretches out behind me have become my dictator, my jailer. I have a mountain to climb and it is, for the most part, all within the constraints of my own mind. Alas, time marches on. Welcome, New Year.