Saturday, March 18, 2017

Recovering My Soul

Teachers (proper teachers that take up the mantle out of self-curiosity and care for the education of others, not those that realize shortly after their first assignments that teaching isn't truly what they want to do) see everything. The collective knowledge through observation of the generations of teachers in our human world is astounding. They see what parents don't. They observe patterns students don't realize they display. Teachers are seers with the ability to help guide and mold us. Sometimes, their observations are so acute that one immediately dismisses the suggestion of a career out of fear ("That's too close to home." "That's too obvious, and would be too easy to achieve; there must be some sort of struggle!") or disbelief that someone known for a year or less can pinpoint one's destiny. Either way, one such observation has followed me throughout my life, beginning as far back as third or fourth grade.
What Miss Chaplinski, my art teacher, saw in me at such an early age I will never know. Yet, it was then the potential career of teaching was first put before me. How could a child inspire such a lofty thought to a grown up that one day she should lead inquisitive minds? All I wanted to do for the majority of school years was to be an artist or an actress. Why would I want to teach, having seen how disrespectful the majority of students were to every one of my teachers? I loathed school from second grade through junior year, and only found my happiness in acting, singing, or creating art. Why would I want to spend the rest of my life there, surrounded by others who most likely felt the same as I had? It was all very funny, as teacher after teacher tried to convince me it was the path I was meant to tread.
Now, I find they were right, in a way.
Sharing the random facts I seem to collect like so much dust in a cobweb softly clinging to the high corner of an old, closed-up room gives me joy nearly everyday at work. However, what I have come to realize is that teaching isn't always the drudgery of my formative years. Likewise, I have come to accept that my teachers and mentors were all right; I am a teacher. For better or worse, I share knowledge, guide minds, and (Goddess forfend!) lead people with information. They may all do what they will with the tools I give, as I have done. My library will swell (no difference in its life from its beginning), my adventures will contain comrades, and my solitary adventures will gain an extra bit of thought for the how and why to be added to discussions, my observations will be used for guidance of others' observations; which will morph as discussions ensue. For, now I have a small group of friends with inquisitive minds, asking I teach them what I know.
I don't know anything, though.
Life, experiences, and new information changes everything.
But I will gladly share what I have accumulated. My library is available to those who respect it. My experiences are open for discussion if they will assist in those of others. I will observe and guide and mold as those who have come to me with observations and guidance. And I will do my best to be present and true to myself throughout. For, what good is a teacher who doesn't even know herself? My experiences thus far in my short time in this life are varied and deep enough to convince me that I know exactly who I am. I suppose, now, I shall add "teacher" to this list of qualifiers.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Emotionally Exhausted

Marianne Dashwood, how I feel your deepest, open wound. When you cannot eat, cannot sleep (or can do nothing but), cannot focus on the conversation before you after the devastation that Willoughby hath wrought! Oh! That pain I feel! For three weeks before my dearest broke the news to me, I could not eat. I could barely sleep. I could only wander in a tear-filled haze, trembling from the sheer exhaustion of existing. And then it worsened. He told me he "probably shouldn't have a girlfriend right now." And my world stopped.
For the past seven years, aside from that short period of time I attempted online dating, I have been single. I have come to know myself, what I wanted in a partner, and have found silent comfort in moments of solitude. He was suddenly there, and everything I wanted and needed.
I love him.
Sleep, when it comes, is such a dear comfort to me. Waking is a hard knife in my heart. Living is a dark cloud that neither brings rain nor surrenders to sun. Every damn day is...indescribable pain. The love I felt when we were a couple was that of fairy tales. It was incredible. It was the kind jaded people say doesn't exist. The pain from the loss of such a love is easily one million, no - one trillion, no - infinite lifetimes worth of the deepest, darkest, most numbing pain any creature can ever know.
Yet, when we were together, I knew Heaven. I knew completeness.
Now, I know pain. I know what being let down truly feels like. To be a part of something so out of this world, then suddenly have it ripped from you as if it were your skin...
People have described the loss of a loved one as losing a part of one's soul; a part of your heart feels like it's missing. Nothing can be more appropriate here, yet feel so superficial. What I am feeling is so much more. And indescribable. A piece of me is missing, yes. My heart is broken, yes. Everything hurts.
I am so tired.
I am so broken.
I am so lost.
And life is so long.
I have so many more years ahead of me, and sleep is the only thing that comforts my aching.
I would walk forever if it meant he'd return to me. I would wear out endless pairs of iron shoes wandering the Earth for him.
I only wish that he could look past material things. I wish he could feel love, like he said he used to.
It was a fairy tale love. Maybe he's under some greedy spell?
And people say, "He wasn't the one. The one will be amazing!"
And I say, "He was the one, he just wasn't ready. We're on different time-frames."
But if the high of being with him was so exquisite, and this low is so nearly unbearable, why would I chance feeling like this again? What if the next one isn't "the one," feels just as great, if not (impossibly) better to be with, but ends in a break up, too? Why would I even entertain the thought of going through this level of Hell, again? I would have to be crazy, stupid, or a glutton for punishment.
Love is not worth the pain.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Of Water Elementals and Gods

My dreams have been full of jump-scares, of late. Often, these are antagonists against my in-dream character that follow me to "my" room (which seems to be that of my prepubescent childhood), where I close the door behind me, then quickly turn to lean against it while trying to hold the knob steady against my would-be intruder. They've been able to open the door just enough to stick their faces through ala Jack Nickleson in The Shining. It's always men, too.
Last night, however, my dream was full of strange occurrences of water spouts in threes, and a giant rising Moon.
"No!" I protested within the dream, standing inside the house and looking out a great picture window. "That's Jupiter!" And I ran out to lie on the grass to watch the massive planet so close I could almost touch as it soared over our dwarfed planet. Then, I see it rotate as it passes - there was Africa. And part of the Americas. And the North Pole. I ran back into the house, "It's Earth! It wasn't Jupiter! I saw Africa on its surface!"

Water is the element against which I fight the most.

The most emotional element.

At first glance, there was no grounding in the dream. People that got too close to the water (over which a restaurant was in business, and the outdoor seating was built...and where the water spouts gracefully dipped undetected below the surface) where sucked in. They disappeared much like the spouts after a final leap above to gasp air. The water swallowed all things that fought its power.

And the Moon (Diana) became Jupiter (Zeus). But Why Zeus? Being the Emperor of Gods, does he embody all elements? Zeus' lightning often coincides with the rains. Ah! But it wasn't the Moon, whose waxing and waning dictate the tides of Neptune. Nor was it Jupiter in his great paradox of calm fury. Neither was it watery Neptune, but Earth.
Here is the grounding. Earth, Gaea, roots. She glided above me. She made her silent, slow rotation, showing me her mountains, seas, glacial caps, deserts, and grasslands. She showed me, from afar, possibilities that cannot be seen when one is at ground level.

I fight the communion with Water regularly. As an Air sign, and truly one of a feather on the wing in the wind, I know what damage Water can do. It can be useful at the right time, but if one stays too long, it's clarity becomes fogged. It will saturate you, and make you part of it. There is no return from a full surrender to Water. The ground lets me land and rest, but it provides a launch pad when I need to go. Earth nourishes; Water envelopes.

I've always fought the communion with Water. Perhaps this dream reminds me that I cannot always fight it. It is part of my chemical make-up, after all. Part of me should relish its embrace, while still allowing me to step from it when I feel the sucking of it's depths on my toes.

The last few weeks, I have given in to despair in my solitude. That is far too long, and the joy of life is draining from me. The sucking of the depths on my toes has moved up to begin a consumption of my legs. Nearly half of me is succumbing to the exhaustion of regular emotional communion with the element.

I need to fly. I need to find ground, and leap skyward if I am to survive my experience with the element of emotion.

Here, my dream's bare bones are these:

~I stopped fighting against what Water needed to teach me. My curiosity drew me into the depths, and, once I stopped fighting, I found comfort in releasing my emotions there.
~As a soul naturally guided by air, I was sucked into my watery despair. And, again, as an airy spirit, I could not find ground to help myself out.
~Now, being awakened by Earth, I find that grounding is necessary - I need to pull myself from this state to be free once again.
~I am reminded by Jupiter that I have all that I need to do and be who I am meant to be in this life. Afloat in the sea of woe that I was, I could not make head nor tails of anything in my life. I was adrift. And, while I still may be confused of my direction, meditation and determination must be my tools to successfully get myself back on track.

I feel that I am blessed by understanding people in my life. However, all of the advice and secondhand knowledge one has in this world is nothing if one cannot use it. I feel blessed that I can assimilate information through my dreams, and have the patience to listen to what my own heart and mind make of what others share with me in addition to what I know already.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Overthinking It

From grade school, to junior high, to high school, to adult life, "overthinking it" has been my mantra through sighs time and again. When life is great, overthinking takes a back seat. However, that old, familiar feeling eventually creeps back into my mind when I feel that I'm falling short in some aspect or another.

A solstice comes and goes without so much as a prayer, let alone a ritual - "Am I a good Pagan?"

A new class begins with an overwhelming misunderstanding of the material - "Is this really what I want to do with my life?"

A new man becomes an important part of your world, then begins to disappear - "Did I come on too strong?"

In the end, the overthinking leads to deep self-doubt, regardless of the situation.
But why?
Why do I feel "less than" when I think about situations more than what society seems to put out as "normal?" What is the norm for thinking? Is there a minimum and a maximum level of thought that is expected in defined moments? Who decides what is too much? In bullying and abuse cases, the victims are the people who decide what is "too much." So, if Jane is feeling put out with a problem she may have, does she define the "right" level of processing? But what if Jane's issue is all in her head? She can talk about it with someone to decide if that is the case. And, if Jane is overthinking an issue with John that she's made up on her own, does John define the level of thought as "too much?" Does that make him the victim, and so, the deciding party? And, what if Jane and John have an issue, agreed upon by both at the beginning of said conversation? Does the most offended person have the right to blow up?
No situation gives any party the right to blow up. That implies total loss of control, and will only end in further conflict; no resolution there.
But, how does one explain thoughts that have inflated beyond the situation so that the conflict (or imagined conflict) can be resolved? I know I'm not the only one here who has had inner conflict, and wanted so badly to discuss it with the other party, but terrified to do so. "What if he shuts down? What if he's not interested in making it work? What if I scare him away with my neediness?" That happened. And the conversation happened. And he played it off. And I stopped texting him first to see if I'd ever hear from him again.
And I never did.
Some of you who have been readers for a while may recall that whole mess.
So, you'll excuse me if my trust issues are coming back around. Previous boyfriends whittled my trust when they cheated on me (which pretty near all of my boyfriends have done.) Then, that guy introduced a whole new kind of mistrust - mistrust in myself. I let myself revolve my life around him. I became *that* girl. You all know her (some of you may be her, too) - she's independent, but the moment a new, amazing guy waltzes into her life, hobbies, aspirations, free time = gone. He may not even be asking it of her, but she gives it up freely. Whether or not it's attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex, no judgement here), is irrelevant, I feel. Maybe I feel it's irrelevant because I don't want it to be relevant, because I am that girl. Who knows? In any case, I want to be loved and wanted as much as I love and want someone else. I don't think that's asking too much.
Then again, maybe I'm overthinking it?

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