Sometimes the right thing to do is to keep your own counsel and trust yourself above all others, to listen to yourself and know that though the answers might not have come to you yet, and they might take a lot longer than is comfortable, they will come. Sometimes you have to trust that they will rise up from the cesspool of your brain where all dark shapes live. You have to trust that they will rise and reveal the truth in thin vaporous ideas that you must not try to catch. You have to wait. You have to listen. You have to watch. With a quiet and patient heart that isn’t really quiet or patient at all but straining at weak seams to be set free.
Every answer I have ever gotten of value has come from myself. There are a thousand glittery pearls of wisdom you may explore that others have to share and these pieces of the truth are good. They are valuable but they’re not the whole answer. Other people’s experiences can shore up your courage and help you feel less alone which gives you the strength to keep looking to yourself for what you really need. Sometimes you need to gather the glitter and the hope around yourself to get to the next moment. There is no shame in this.
There is no shame in asking for help either. I say that sometimes you need others to hold your hand, either literally or spiritually. We all need each other. It was the thought of a friend at the second I was going to jump from a cliff that made me stand very very still at the edge. I had nothing left to give myself or ask for from myself in life. I was done with it all but for a friend who might turn to me for help and I couldn’t bear the thought of not being there should she ever need me? We weren’t stable people. We were like matchboxes in a perpetual dry hot summer sun threatening to ignite all our light at once so that we’d burn out and self-extinguish before we had a chance to meet real tinder. We all need each other.
I am listening and watching for answers now. I am holding a posture of acceptance and patience though my muscles are burning and trembling with the effort not to move across my own shadow to grab at the slurry in my head. I am bending with the weight of my own spirit and looking for a coat hook to hang it on just to take a break from it pulling at my shoulders. There’s no coat hook in here, just the suspension of everything as I wait for it all to be revealed; as I wait for my eyes to see what’s already there, my iris always ten steps ahead of my conscience is already breathing the dawn while I am walking through twilight to a promise of sleep.
Life is no perfect science. Even when answers come there are so many ways to interpret them and use them and be shaped by them. We have so many choices and opportunities to grow, to become something better than we were, to evolve, to heave the outmoded ideas for the new ones that will bring progress.
While I’m standing in this posture I’m distracting myself with thoughts about my actions in the world and my interactions with other people and wondering how I can temper myself. Like chocolate. I have a temperature at which I become more stable and flexible. Recently I’ve become angered and frustrated by people and events and let myself loose like a wild arrow from a bow, hitting people with my sharp edges without thought or intention. I’ve repented. I’ve apologized. But what I want to know is how to lower my temperature to where I can keep my arrows to myself and not throw rocks instead. What keeps going through my head is the reminder that we’re all connected and when I hurt you I hurt myself. No different than how hurting myself hurts others too.
As I think about this connectedness I am also watching others fight with each other. Not just the bloody wars we’re all fighting right now both between countries and individuals, but the verbal sparring that gets ugly so fast you can’t even see it coming half the time what with everyone so desperate to be heard, to protect the protectors, to defend the defenders. Everyone around me is scrapping and throwing verbal punches. When I step aside and don’t play I have the greatest urge to mediate, to make everyone talk to each other as though they were connected by threads. I love a good debate but there’s such a poisonous atmosphere out there right now it seems that no one, not even people with great big gentle hearts, can keep their knives sheathed. It feels like everyone is self destructing around me. It isn’t just me anymore. It never was.
I am not looking for answers. I’m just waiting to understand the ones I already have.