Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I'm losing my religion. No, I'm not talking about Christianity. That's a religion I could never "lose" because it's written into my soul. My understanding and expression of it can and does deepen and change and grow, but what is essential in it cannot be lost, because, in the words of A Course in Miracles, "Nothing real can be threatened."
What I'm losing is the religion of "I need a partner to be complete," which is probably the most popular religion in the world, with the most convincing propaganda. "Can't live without you," "You complete me," "You are my everything," are just a portion of its liturgy.
This process began several months ago with a short but powerful dream. I was driving to my sort-of-sometimes-partner's house with the familiar feeling of anticipation and anxiety. I need to see him. What if he's not there? What if he's with a woman? It was nighttime, and there was a massive thunderstorm going on. I could barely see the dirt road that leads to his place, and feared I would drive off the side into the ditch. I was forced to slow down almost to the point of stopping, but was determined to go on. I had to get there. But all of a sudden, there was a huge flash of lightning that encompassed the whole scene. I found myself enveloped and completely stopped by blinding light. And in that moment, I just surrendered to it. I gave up. It was as though a voice deep inside me was saying, Stop this nonsense. You are already here. This light is what you want, and you are in it. BE in it. And I became very still and felt something akin to ecstasy in that living, permeating light. I woke up.
The significance and experience of this dream was so incredibly simple and obvious, so powerful, that it has remained prominent in my mind even though I didn't write it down and it was months ago. But it's only now that I'm really starting to live its message, to truly be in that light without trying to get anywhere else.
And this has left me in a strange new space that keeps unfolding. Until the other day, I couldn't say anything about it, but thanks to some blogging and other friends, I've found some words for it. One thing I see now is that it's not even relationships I've been addicted to, but THINKING about relationships. Since kindergarten, there's always been some boy on my mind. Always. And I get it now, that the need is to define myself against someone else. Do I exist if you don't? Hmmm. I've realized that the only times I wasn't thinking about a boy, I was thinking about someone who might be mad at me, or someone I'm mad at. It's about conflict, distance. Needing to define my own existence as apart from, NOT together with someone else's, as it might appear. Pure ego crap, to put it bluntly.
So now here I am, no longer a slave to those thoughts. Now how do I define myself? Well, I haven't been. Which is why I've had nothing to say. I've been deconstructed, I have no walls to bounce off, just free floating. And I'm very aware that no matter what I say, I'm just making up stories, none of which are ultimately true. And yet, as Kate put it in a comment on my last post, writing is the way to "know my insides." The stories are not true, but can contain truth, as it much as truth CAN be contained. And even more to the point, they construct meaning, a way of understanding. Language has its limits, but can, at its best, point to truth.
Jennifer and I had a conversation the other day about the limits of language, and how some words are just not adequate for what they describe. The specific word in question was "recovery." I don't think this word does justice to what it defines. As Jennifer said, it implies a mask, a re-covering. Once your light is uncovered, why re-cover it? The word we agreed was better is "remembering," as in remembering who you really are, as in re-membering. Sorting out and recreating the members of your being. This is what's happening to me now.
I'm amazed at how quickly after re-entering the blogosphere, I gained inspiration and understanding through my blogging friends. On Claire's blog the other day, she posted a quote about "inner geography," a term I immediately resonated with. It gave me the language, the analogy to begin describing where I am. It's as though I'm standing on the mountaintop of my inner geography for the first time in my life, exhausted and exhilarated from the climb, totally, gloriously alone, surveying my whole landscape. But it all looks strange and unfamiliar from this vantage point, and I feel detached from it - I'm not IN it, consumed by it anymore.
The paradoxical beauty of this is that when I'm outdoors now, when I'm sitting in the grove by the church, for instance, I am oh so much more fully IN the grass, the sky, the birdsong, the breeze.
In Claire's post, she discussed an upcoming trip she's taking. That woman is always going somewhere new in the world, and I admitted my envy of her being a globe-trotter. She came back and said that I was a "self-trotter." Yes. I am traveling the world of myself, which is the world. I'm in it, and it's everywhere in me. Hallelujah. As Rumi said, "To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes." Hallelujah indeed.