I grew up in a religiously, culturally and gastronomically Jewish home in Willingboro, NJ which is a suburb of Philadelphia. Our family went to synagogue weekly, practiced holiday rituals, lit the candles on Friday night, but kept kosher only when my paternal grandmother lived with us. I attended Hebrew school until I was 16. […]
“The moment we have an expectation or require anything to make us feel whole and free we have committed it and ourselves to a form of bondage; and in our desire for freedom and liberation we have become its slave.”-Erica Taxin Bleznak
This being human carries with it myriad opportunities to test our loftiest ideals. As someone who is aware that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, I am faced daily with the challenge to stay real, to remain engaged and not withdraw into the cave of solitude.
I was speaking with a new friend over the weekend named Beth Nolan, about a time in my life not so long ago that it seemed easier to steer clear of intimate relationships, since they were so messy and complicated. It was enough to keep up with my own quirks and needs, without entertaining those of others. I was content to let the Creative Muse be my companion and lover, since most of the time, I could take charge of our interactions. Even then, I began to realize that I was not the one in control of my creative flow and that I needed to do its bidding. Still, it isn’t a person with its own needs, desires and requirements.
In the Fall, I came to the not so shocking conclusion that if I wanted to live in the world with other people and to have intimate relationships, I needed to be willing to muck around in my own emotional swamp and theirs as well. Did I like admitting that I have dark and scary cobweb strewn corners that I had allowed to grow dusty? Not one bit. I also knew that if I didn’t want them to become nests for spiders and who-knows-what-else, I needed to put on my big girl panties and get in there with a dust buster, so I wouldn’t eventually need a blow torch to blast though it. Still not much fun, but at least I can see the walls and floor.
Yoga teacher Erica’s wise words are also reflections of my own musings. For a long time, I have surrendered my power to others, for approval of my actions and at times, my very being. As a precocious child, I thrived on the attention lavished on me by the adults around me. I was groomed to please. In exchange for that, I received abundant love. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, huh? It was a tender trap, since the more loving attention I received, the more fearful I was of losing it, so I kept coming up with ever more clever ways of maintaining it.
That dynamic spilled over into my adult relationships as it had become so habitual that I need to be mindful of times when I attempt to dazzle to maintain the flow of love that I had erroneously attributed to others. There are times when I need to repeat to myself that no other person is the Source of love in my life. People come and go; sometimes unpredictably. Does knowing that make it any easier? Nope. I do some of my best thinking in the car and it came to me that it would be so much easier if people didn’t allow their wounds to take over their lives. I have found that fear is often fueled by the belief that we are limited and can’t overcome old programming.
I saw the line, “The trigger is the treasure.” on my friend Monique Darling’s Facebook page this morning and did it ever resonate! When I think about the interactions that trigger my ‘not enough,’ fears, they fall into the categories of others distancing, disapproving or disappearing. When I consider what it is that pushes my buttons and has me questioning the very nature of my purpose here on the planet, it generally shows up in a mirror-mirror manner. Someone else reflects an aspect of myself that I don’t want to look at, but there it is, in my face. If I can focus on the treasure, I can allow it to let me shine. If I can source my own love and approval from within, it is then that I am truly free.