Landing

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of ‘home’. Now my understanding of this concept is about the same as my understanding of motherhood. It is a mental understanding, but emotionally, there is so much mystery and ambiguity. My mother is so certain of her home. She is certain of where she comes from, where she belongs and where she will end up. Growing up, she used to tell me that I should feel such and such a way towards a place, a country etc., and yet, at 34 although I know my history, culture, where I came from, I am still unsure of what home is.

I’m certain I that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Perhaps this is the plight of children whose homes were broken early on in life or whose parents moved around through the early years. You are barely able to land before being uprooted again, a new adventure, a new journey and new people coming in and out of your life. Comfort zones get shifted so much that when you grow up, you don’t quite know where it is. Connections are built and then shortly thereafter they are lost in the ether. It gets a bit easier but you wonder if it is because you have grown quite desensitised or if it because you just don’t have the courage to let your connections get as deep as they used to.

Perhaps, there is a fear that if you let yourself land, the earth will again be ripped out from under you and you are free falling through nothingness.

But does that mean that you never want to stay?

Does that mean that you have not the desire to ground down and know that you are safe, that you never have to go anywhere else again?

Perhaps to stay is what you want, but you have become so used to not having that comfort zone that it somehow has become your comfort zone. To stay, to trust, to come up against barriers but to wait it out and keep moving in one direction instead of changing course has somehow for you become the uncomfortable.

At some point if you’re lucky, reality hits. Something prompts you to sit down with yourself and look, really look at where you are and what you want in your life. The decision needs to be made to stay or go.

Starting over is always an option but to what end?

But to stay?

To let people into your life again?

To open your home to friends and allow them to become family?

To open your heart to another person and in extension their family, friends, culture, history? Trying to navigate two lives, two personalities.

Oh how terrifying!

In the end though, it comes down to a decision.

You, the rootless wanderer, do you dare put your roots down and let them grow?

Can you commit to your practice knowing that in time your views, your body, your limitations will change and truths will be uncovered that might not be so easy to digest. Could you jump into the ether of meditation knowing that it gets deeper and deeper. Are you brave enough to say ‘yes’ to something two months, six months or a year in advance as a way of saying to someone, ‘I want you to still be in my life in that time.’ Can you stay with a job as the responsibilities increase and you become more of who you were meant to be. Could you possibly be with a person, going forward, hitting a barrier, waiting it out and then going forward a bit more, to hit another barrier again, your patience tested to the limit but your heart given the chance to slowly expand.

Perhaps this is your version of transformation to fire. A situation so scary you just want to close your eyes, your soul, your life again, but you know who you are. The reason it was so hard to commit was because you knew that once you did, you would give it everything that you had.

Through fear, so you committed.

So here you are.

Giving it everything you have, everything you are, risking your heart, your soul and the only life you have ever known.

Open and vulnerable, you just put your feet down finally and let yourself land in the unknown.

And perhaps, that is the only way to know ‘home’.

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Being Loved

In my past I always felt so alone. Even when I was with family, I never truly felt like I belonged.  Through the years I had constructed layer upon layer of walls that I held up with a vengeance.  I wondered why I dated men who were emotionally unavailable.  You know the kind, the ones who can’t be your Superman when your psycho Lois Lane is falling off a building. In this case, the building of your sanity.  I associated with people who I had to always support, people who always had some form of drama.  Sharing my feelings was a foreign concept to me, and most of the time, I didn’t have the words for them.  I still don’t sometimes, but that’s OK.  Somehow, I had locked my heart up in a kryptonite box, behind a reinforced steel door, threw away the key, built a brick wall, dug a moat around it and placed piranhas in the water for good measure.  Every so often I would lower the drawbridge and let someone in, but they always stood behind the locked door.

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The last couple of years however, things had started to change.  Maybe it was me, or maybe I was just lucky to meet a group of the most supportive people, but I had slowly began to open up, both personally, and in my writing.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a bare all piece on my journey with celibacy: https://azphoenix.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/act-of-celibacy/, right before I went off and taught a class.  It was one of the most confronting things that I have done in a long time.  For one thing, publishing my innermost thoughts online, and for another, standing in front of people who I knew for a fact had read those innermost thoughts.  It was fucking scary, but in a strange way, being this vulnerable has also made me feel very connected to those around me.

Then my father passed away.  Now, he is a story that I will write when I am ready.

It was what has happened since that has surprised me.

Having lived alone for about seven years now, I am used to licking my own wounds and getting on with it.  In fact, I learned to get on with it at a very young age.  There was always someone else to take care of.  The things we get used to.  A lot of times, they can be detrimental to our own health, acting out of habit than need. And in the long run, the stuff we push down just bubbles up like larva and destroys what’s closest.  This time, I was completely ready to handle my business, spend a few days in my pajamas with a few boxes of tissue paper, and then wipe it all clean and get back to life.

Something unexpected happened.  Upon hearing the news, two of my dear friends took immediate action. Mandy brought her 35 day old baby and a pint of gelato over, and gave me a distraction by way of placing the cutest little bundle in my arms to cuddle.  Meriana came around after work, took me to the beach (in my pajama bottoms no less) and then proceeded to get me groceries.  A few days later, my teacher Ingrid just held me while I completely broke down. This is not counting the phone calls, the messages of condolence and the hugs that I have been receiving for the past week.   I swear, I have left a trail of tear stains over many a shoulder and my yoga mat will never be the same again.

In the world around not much has changed.  It keeps turning as it was.  Sydney traffic is still crazy and public transport can be unreliable, and people are still rushing everywhere.  What has changed however, is me.  Somehow, somewhere between the meditation and the asana, I am finding myself, and that is leading me to be able to share myself.  I am a lot more vulnerable than I was, but I am also so much more part of something bigger.  The people I have in my life make me feel blessed, like the heavens were somehow looking out for me, but more than that, even though I am alone in the modern sense of the word (as in single), I am so very loved.

And that’s just it, isn’t it? Being loved is not necessarily about the Instagram photos of your dates or the gifts that you’ve received from your ‘perfect’ partner.  It’s not about how your popularity means that you always have someone to go out with on the weekend. And it sure as hell not about how some dude wants to jump your bones whenever you see them.  Instead, it’s about the ability to just be vulnerable and to know that you are supported in these times.

A big thank you to the people I have in my life now.  To me, having you has made all the difference.

Edited by fellow word warrior – Carolyn Eccles, http://lovewhatitloves.wordpress.com/