Move your mind, Move your body, Move your soul.
As I was driving in the car the other day, a thought sprung to my mind about love.
I think, for my whole life, I have wanted to be loved. Everything I have done- maybe even up until that moment in the car - has been about earning love. Thoughts of old boyfriends flashed through my mind. Did I ever even love any of them? I was trying so hard to get them to love me, I don't know if I ever even liked them.
Now, this is not a new revelation, exactly. I have known for some time that I struggle with love and self-love. But the clarity in the car was striking.
This is likely in the fore of my mind for many reasons. My kids are getting older, and our relationships are different than they were when the kids were young, when they truly needed me for survival. That need felt like love. My oldest is experiencing his first love right now. And I watch as he talks & texts, I listen to his words and witness his actions. Is he trying to earn her affection?
My studio life is changing as well, and I've questioned what I want to share of myself with the world; I've felt and feared judgment and sadness. My friendships, too, are changing as I am trusting myself and loving myself to be vulnerable in places where I haven't been before. I am growing in so many ways.
It's hard not to look outside of yourself for love and acceptance. To yearn for "good job" and "you are on the right track" and even "you are okay". I think my teaching practice is the best teacher here. I have learned that for me - I plan a class and then I go with my heart. When I speak from my heart, change (plan) from my heart, when I work from that place of sharing a piece of myself - those are the best teaching moments. Reminding myself that I don't have to get it right.
My job is to share my light, reflect the light of others I meet.
I stumbled upon this incredible talk by Gabor Mate. It is a talk based on his book When the Body Says No; he talks about how trauma and stuffing feelings is often expressed through dis-ease.
Enter AH HA moment #2. Earning love for me has meant suppressing my feelings. And so, not only is this not awesome, but it's also potentially contributing to my physical health and well-being. So I don't have to get it right when I teach. I don't have to get it right, find the right thing, do the right thing. But I DO have to express.
Dr. Mate said, "We are still behaving in order to attach (to other humans/caregivers) at the expense of our authenticity." Meaning, we morph, stuff, repress, quiet in order that we can be loved. And all of that? It makes us sick. Literally.
We don't need to earn love and neither does your neighbor, partner, friend, mother. Because we have already "earned" it. And what all those people actually need, what the world needs - is for you to be authentically you. There is only one of you. Truly. There is only one.
Last week, I read from Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening. The passage talks about how burying and planting are essentially the same.
The culmination of one love, one dream, one self, is the anonymous seed of the next.
There is very little difference between burying and planting. For often, we need to put dead things to rest, so that new life can grow. And further, the things put to rest, whether it be a loved one, a dream, or a false way of seeing – becomes the fertilizer for the life about to form. As the well used thing joins with the earth, the old love fertilizes the new; the broken dream fertilizes the dream yet conceived; the painful way of being that strapped us to the world fertilizes the freer inner stance about to unfold.
The full passage is followed by a practice, which gave me goosebumps. Mark offers that you:
It is the last bullet point that gets me: "Water it and keep it in the light", for it is fodder for the next way of being. I love the idea of burying in this way in order that it may come to be something new, and watering it, giving it light rather than hiding, stuffing, or pretending it didn't happen.
What in your world is in need of planting?
You gotta feel it to heal it.