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Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

…so I’m gonna let it do all the talking.” ~KT Tunstall – Black Horse & The Cherry Tree

I’ve heard this song for years on the radio and multiple times on the CD, which I finally bought a couple weeks ago, and I know all the words. But for some reason, today as I was driving home from lunch, I really heard the first line of the song, quoted above. It struck a nerve in my soul.

Lately I’ve been thinking a whole heck of a lot about how I always have to know what my plans are. Details! Give me the details! In a sense, I’m a huge control freak. I don’t like being caught off guard. It doesn’t feel safe at all. I have myself convinced that if only I know what to expect, then I’ll be okay. As much as it pains me to admit, I don’t think this is actually true and it probably makes me more anxious than I need to be because I seriously cannot control everything in my life. But that lovely part of me that likes to control keeps trying to win the argument and just knows that control = safety. And there’s probably no convincing it otherwise.

Lucky for me, I still have my heart. It’s the opposite. There’s no need to control anything. Just trust. Trust that all will be well no matter what happens, no matter how much control I don’t have. In fact, the less control, the better. I’ve been making a very concious effort to soothe and calm the controlling side while listening to my heart and it’s quiet murmurings. And I have to say, it is taking me on a wild ride! Things are unfolding in my life in a way I would not have imagined even a month ago. And I guess that’s why these lyrics jumped out at me so profoundly today. I realized that my heart does know me better than I know myself and that I should listen more often to what it is telling me. Because when I do, life flows. It just happens. And I don’t have to do anything to make it happen.

When on the path of self-discovery, it behooves oneself to listen, not control. Control is the part that doesn’t trust anything, that is scared that all will crumble around me if I don’t hold it all together. It’s what some would call the ego I suppose. Although I personally don’t like that distinction. Makes it sound like the ego is a bad thing. But let’s face it, we ALL have one, so deal with it. I think to deny the ego is to deny part of oneself. And to deny part is to deny the whole. But that’s going off on a tangent….

In my experience, control is stressful. It causes me great anxiety and I always feel I’m walking on thin ice. At any moment, the ice is going to crack and I’m going to sink below the surface never to be seen again. And there’s no chance the ice won’t crack. There is no escaping it. It is inevitable. Not such a comforting place to be.

But when I am able to quiet that part of me and listen to my heart, I feel much more at ease, calm, trusting. And doors begin to open, ideas flow, possibilities seem like a reality, not just some pie in the sky dream I’ll never be able to achieve. And I’m much happier when I’m in this state of mind, when I’m listening to that Voice. So I’m going to let my heart do all the talking. Woo Hoo!

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An acquaintance of mine decided to take his own life last weekend. Knowing him only peripherally, I wasn’t terribly close to him but it was devastating all the same. As more details surfaced, I found out he chose this final act because his girlfriend broke up with him. For some reason, this chilled me to the bone. It deeply saddened me. He seemed like he had so much going for him – he was a successful business owner, well liked, attractive, was very outgoing, etc. But obviously, for him, none of these things were enough. He was so emotionally wrapped up in another human being that he decided he literally couldn’t live without her.

Now I’m not in any kind of suicidal mindset, but I like to look at the bigger picture and try to put myself in others’ shoes. Even in an awful situation like this, I want to look at my own reactions and what they mean for me (cause it’s all just a mirror anyway). In this case, I reacted quite strongly to the death of someone who in all honesty I barely knew. Not to sound callous, but I wasn’t going to miss this person in my life. Yet I was terribly angry the night I found out, picking fights with my boyfriend and being generally cantankerous.

When I acknowledged my inappropriate behavior (okay, my boyfriend called me out on it), I had to question what was going on inside of me. Why was I so triggered? Well, the circumstances of his death made me stop and consider the external things I rely on to define my own value. I’ve spent an entire lifetime, as I believe most of us have, being taught that we are only as good as our accomplishments or status or possessions. Based on this model of thinking, I don’t amount to much.

But somewhere deep inside my soul, I know better. I’m learning that the more important thing is not what I am but who I am. Who do I want to be as a person? When I die, how do I want to be remembered? I can tell you I do NOT want to be remembered for the car I drove or the house I owned or who I was married to or how much money I had, all the things that currently don’t amount to much in my life anyway. I want to be remembered for the impact I made in my world, for the ways that I helped other human beings, animals, the planet. Those are the things that leave an indelible imprint on the world.

When I thought about Jimmy, I didn’t have a clue who he was. In my limited experience of him, he wasn’t very kind. But I knew what he had and what he did for a living, etc. I knew of the things he chose to define his life by. That’s not bad or wrong, it just is. He had his own path and it isn’t mine to judge. But I didn’t ever really know who he was.

Realizing this served to kind of rub my nose in the fact that I’m not living my life much differently at this point than he did. I’m not being the person I want to be remembered for. So I got mad….at myself. I’ve had a lot of thoughts come up the last week as a result of this incident, some reminders of the path I am choosing and what I need to do. And that’s good. So I can definitely thank Jimmy for this, not that he ever had this intention. But as senseless as suicide seems, we can always choose to find a deeper meaning in it, find the silver lining. If we choose to. And I do.

In tribute and remembrance to Jimmy…thanks for the fun times we shared, few as they were. And thank you for the reminder of what this life is really all about. I know you will be missed by those closest to you. May you rest in peace.

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