Saturday, April 14, 2012
Grist for the Mill
Everybody has one; a wound that cuts deep. It's something that's not possible to cure, yet isn't serious enough to be fatal. Dealing with these wounds is a part of every human life. I'm not sure how to refer to this phenomena. I wonder if there is an official name for it. It can be anything - a physical limitation or incapacity, or lifelong ailment - inherited or whatever, some problem with the mind/heart, i.e. mental illness. It can involve circumstances in the environment of the individual, a history of trauma of one kind or another, heartbreak, loss, success. It's hard to pin down where it will come up, but at the end of the day what I see is that everyone has a wound they struggle with throughout their lives, never triumphing over it but neither are they defeated.
In the best of circumstances, it's from working with the essential core wound that people become wise, kind, compassionate, patient. These issues work on us as we work on them, polishing, grinding us down sometimes, making us smarter if we pay attention. We are such powerful beings, sometimes I wonder if hardship and humbling is necessary in order for us to pay attention. Is suffering necessary for the gathering of wisdom? You tell me, I have no idea.
One thing is for sure - it's universal, this idea of a wound that will not heal, will not kill. Of course I love the King Arthur version of this myth, the story of the Fisher King. I could name several from other times and places. Poor Chiron, for instance. One of my favorite versions is a tale told about Shiva from the Hindu myth cycle. A terrible demon pours poison onto the earth. It is so toxic, it could kill every living creature. Shiva, knowing that swallowing the poison will kill him, nevertheless drinks the toxic brew, holding it in his throat without swallowing, for ETERNITY, saving himself and the world. In this state they say he sits in peaceful meditation until the end of Kaliyuga.
Bloody hell, that Shiva is something else, hey? Whoa.
I'm realizing, about this latest bout with my personal fisher king wound, that acceptance and soothing is the best option at this point in life. I've worked valiantly to heal this thing completely since young adulthood. I'm so glad I tried so hard. You wouldn't believe how many years I spent exploring it in therapy. I have a very thorough understanding of it, but, it's still there. It's essential, it's in my blood and bones. I am ready at long last to stop trying to work through it. Instead I will endeavor to make space for it, so it doesn't encumber me during the decade of my 60s. It's a worthy goal!
Does the above sound negative? I'm not feeling that at all. I'm practicing patience with myself, also receiving a LOT of acupuncture, dreaming and drawing on the ipad. Is it helping? Well - ask my brainstem, please. My mind has no idea. That's probably for the best! Shalom.