I’ve been feeling annoyed lately. Like really annoyed. Hell, let’s just name it: I’m angry. Pissed off even. And yes frustrated, disgusted and annoyed too.
Mostly I’m angry though.
I’ve been doing my thing, my work, guiding people to connect to their own embodied wisdom; to shedding their shoulds; to connecting deeply to their whole Self, the Light and the Shadow. I talk about the ebb and flow of this work and how sometimes we are deep in it and sometimes we aren’t. I discuss the importance of rest and replenishing and nourishing and allowing our Self to be.
I talk a lot. I do my best to model this way of being by doing my best to live it myself. Which means sometimes I’m deep in the work and sometimes I’m not, and sometimes I’m deep in my practices and sometimes I’m not and regardless of where I am in my journey or what I am or am not doing, I try to be gentle with me and to allow the space for me to be right where I am.
I’m not perfect. I fail all the time. Well, maybe not all the time, and enough to remember why I have my practices and so I pick them up again and they drop off and so it goes.
I’ve become acutely aware lately of pithy quotes and fluffy positive thinking and this idea that our thoughts create our world and if we only think the right thoughts then all the things will perfect and great.
And it’s pissing me off. And it’s time I publicly call bullshit.
First of all let’s break (ha! I first typed “breathe”!) down this idea of thinking the right thoughts. What the hell are the “right” thoughts? If I have the “right” thoughts that does mean I can magically prevent a loved one from dying? Myself from having cancer? A hurricane from devasting the lives and homes of people I know and love (and even the ones I don’t)? If I think the right thoughts does that mean that life stops and nothing bad will ever happen to me? Will I never trip and break a bone or get in a car accident or catch the flu?
Because if thinking the “right thoughts” means all that, then please, will someone tell me what the Right Thoughts are? What are the exact words I need to be thinking? What is the exact mantra I need to have on repeat on my mp3 player and posted on post-its all over my house?
I’m sure there are plenty who will jump in and tell me what some of my “Right Thoughts” could be. And I also bet they won’t own that and allow themselves to be held accountable for what happens when I do every thing that lets me think the “right thoughts” and then still something bad happens.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for gratitude. I’m all for appreciating all that we have. I’m all for seeking and seeing beauty in the world. As long as we don’t shut our eyes to the Shadow, the darkness, to the really shitty parts of being human and living life.
As long as we don’t blame people (and not thinking the right thoughts) for things like cancer and accidents and layoffs and hurricanes, then yes, let’s all do look to the light – BUT let’s not forget for one moment that there is Shadow right behind us and sometimes we need to turn around and have a dance or three with it.
As long as we allow ourselves and others to grieve, to sink into despair, to speak out about how hard life/parenting/partnering/living/being can be.
Also long as we don’t offer “at leasts” and “look on the bright sides” and “silver linings” and the one I hate the most “well if this shitty thing didn’t happen then you wouldn’t have the fabulous life you have today!”
As long as we don’t try to fucking constantly fix it. And by it I mean the dark, the Shadow, the shitty parts of our Self and life.
As long as we can allow ourselves and others to be right where we are, whether that’s in our deepest Shadows or our brightest lights.
Then yes, I’m all for practicing gratitude, seeking beauty, appreciating what we have and who we are.
Something has shifted in me. Perhaps it’s connecting to the women who came before me and all their (righteous) anger that lives in my bones and muscles and womb. Maybe it’s that I’m going out into the world more, expanding my circles and seeing more and more of this Positive Fluffy Thinking because of it. Perhaps it’s because three different people have mentioned the Law of Attraction to me in the last 48 hours and now my head just wants to explode.
Bad things happen to good people.
Your thoughts do not control reality.
Focusing only on the positive and ignoring and stuffing down the negative only causes imbalance and dis-ease within. It’s makes us ill, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
I invite you to step into your anger. To open your throat to your roars.
I invite you to sink into your grief. To open your self to body-wracking wails.
I invite you to stumble into your sadness. To open your being to your most guttural moans and howls.
I invite you to dance with your Shadow. To wrestle with her. To play with her. To fight with her.
I invite you to acknowledge and accept your darkest self. To allow this part of you to be. She is not all of you. And she is part of you. I invite you to open your arms to her, and to weep together for all that could have been, all that was lost and all that will never be.
I invite you to be fully and imperfectly human. To connect with all your parts and pieces. To love them all: your Light and Shadow. To allow your Self to be exactly where you are, right now.
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[…] growth.” I’ve come to realize that this idea often falls in line with those ideas of fluffy positive thinking. Do I believe people grow? Absolutely. We all change and shift and morph as life marches forward, […]