when doves cry

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.

William S. Burroughs

“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know 

…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.” 

Pema Chödrön

another week sails by. i am feeling stronger and healthier, although a patient came to an appointment yesterday swirling in a cold virus and i am pretty sure i am at odds with that today. a couple of weeks ago, i had put a message out into the world that i was open to a change. that message brought a response this week and i have acknowledged a doorway to change and started to make room for additional energy to enter my world.

it felt strange to do this. i wrestle with my own nature which creates the most discomfort in situations for me. my friend paul always repeated to me that it is not our reactions to life that get us into trouble, but our over-reactions to life that create problems. more and more i see what he means. i have hosted a plethora of feelings during this tiny process i speak of here. and i find myself encountering remorse and guilt as i consistently swim in after a new experience. that of course is my own brand of ptsd- shame. 

there are two trends in our modern culture that i have always avoided, however have also come to understand more deeply in accordance with understanding myself. tattoos are one exercise in self-expression that have always overwhelmed me. firstly, i remember my grandfathers old green inky and crinkly tattoos from the navy. i thought they were the ugliest and creepiest things i had seen. i absolutely never wanted something old and green on my skin. also i never really have found an image that would be universal or long-lasting enough for me to be able to connect with 20 years later adorning one of my appendages. but as i get older i realize they are badges of courage in a way. they represent a validation of experience and proof of life in a way. i still don’t need or want to get a tattoo, but i certainly respect the tradition they have become. i think i may have an emotional tattoo almost branded in my brain. that is enough.

the other trend would be plastic surgery. i am more able to relate to that ritual because there are things i very much do not like about my nature. i almost with that i could have a surgical procedure and the character defects i dislike would vanish into thin air or be tossed away with the other remnants that are gathered in the operating room. i might feel better about my life if i could have my shame removed by a procedure. not likely to happen- but more and more, i can relate to the desire which drives a nose job etc… it’s a real inconvenience to not like something about one’s self on a consistent basis. 

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