This repeating pattern of mine
It shows up when I step
beyond my box of safety.
A reliable pattern
full of fear and terror
So familiar it defines my edges.
I choose to look past my edges
to my open spaces.
I choose to heal.
Another evening of terror dreams
From the pot I stirred
leaving me tired but determined
to conquer my fears.
I could buy into my ego screaming
I am not well, something is wrong.
I could buy into my fear naming
all the things not right in my world
But I know this pattern, this face of fear
I know it well.
It holds me tight in its idea of safe
and keeps me small in a small world
When terror comes
I’ve opened the door
to the edge peering
beyond my boundary.
I am breathing.
I believe when I feel it,
I heal it.
I believe when I hear it,
I clear it.
I gather strength
and I continue to
face my fears
I deserve to be free
of my limits. I want to be
all of me and not
hide behind the small of me.
What Silence Said
Poem by Julia Fehrenbacher
This is what silence said to me today: Trust what you can't see. Move forward despite the wobbly groundlessness of I don't know. Breathe, love, create, show up as you are, everyday—no matter what. Go to where wild irises grow. Say thank you for all of it—weeds cracks, sunbeams, that hand on your shoulder— the forever throb of ache it's all a doorway—a hand leading you back to grace.
I found a lot of resonance both in what you wrote and the poem. I usually read gratefulness.org word for the day. It’s a quote from the American poet, Jane Hirschfield. “We cannot let our ideas blind us to our unknowing.” And then you wrote “choose to see not the edges but the open spaces.” And then the last line of the poem, “a hand leading you back to grace.” I think that trust in being open and not insisting on certainty, sometimes we think we have or like to have certainty in the face of fear, but we don’t. We need to stay open and have trust leading us to grace.
Whenever I walk through my fear which I did a couple days ago, something like this always happens because it is my self-imposed limits based on some trauma that happened some point that causes me to feel unsafe. I’ll get through it. My energy will lighten and I’ll feel better. I’m familiar with this process. I will weather it like a rainy day.
I thought of you in my morning reading, as well. The quote from my morning read from Matthew Fox talked about the rising of shamans in this time. It says, “there is a portion that is painted of human nature that it is what shamans bring in, a sense of the whole, a connection of spirits, the value of alternative states of consciousness, the vocation to serve and heal the larger community.” It feels like a vocation for you to share what you’re hearing and the risks you take in it. You know you’re going to go through a hard time. I was valuing the process you are in and very much longing and wanting to hear what you do share because I don’t hear that well. I hear a lot of nudges but not as tuned in as you are. It’s really special to be shared with like this.
In my own reflection, another from this morning was about pruning and I thought about how when I take the risk to be me against the general flow of things, sometimes pruning occurs. Sometimes it’s pruning parts of me, but it also might be pruning the nature of different relationships in my world, and growth comes eventually if not immediately.
Once again, the learning in this group, I’ve always had the tendency to try to fix things. We talked in the last week about resisting that. When you were sharing what you’ve been going through, my immediate response was to think of the fix-it. I am practicing. This morning when you started, I was suddenly a participant observer outside myself and I remembered don’t offer another solution. I sometimes wonder why we do anything after this group because the learning is so profound here, we might as well go back to bed.
I feel the same way sometimes. This group is the best part of my day. Then I feel like I have to go practice all the things I’m learning. What you’ve been talking about the past couple days has helped me look at my own fears. What came to me during the meditation was I always have fear like the hum of a refrigerator, a constant background noise, like being on high alert. I appreciate you sharing what you share because it gives me the courage to take it on and look at it.
In taking care of my family’s dog, I was out in the dark last night and she took off after a fox. There was a lot of commotion and it scared me. Going to bed, my adrenalin was running. I had panicked with all the scenarios of what could have happened. Later I noticed her sound asleep. I thought it’s interesting how I take the incident in every bad direction and she was in the experience and now she’s sound asleep. It’s interesting how we handle fear in totally different ways. Thank you for sharing what you’re sharing. The power of an animal living in the moment is a real teaching.
I love the line about the things that keep me small in a small world. I’m going through a hard time right now. This really spoke to me. I experience so much pain and try to figure out how to get through it. I’m glad I’m in this incubator helping me face these fears and pain.
I too want to thank you for what you share day by day. I yearn to hear more and learn more but I don’t have that ability to go where you go. I woke up so early and had little interest in getting up feeling overwhelmed. I feel so stuck and sad. Someone recently said to me I am a warrior, and I don’t feel like a warrior because I struggle so much in this sinking mire instead of rising. I’m glad to be with you all. My heart is always with you all.
Thank you. when I was raising my kids, it occurred to me today, it’s so hard to be where I am with my feelings because I don’t want everyone else to take them on. We all have a responsibility to be feel what we feel without taking on what someone else feels. When I was parenting years ago, I always tried to take care of everybody else and not allow myself to be where I was at. I can’t do that anymore. It’s wonderful for each of us to be where we are at, no matter where we are at, whether in tears, in joy or in neutral. I think there is great power in honoring where we are at and taking care of ourselves in the process. We put one foot in front of the other, take care of our tasks remembering we are still here and we are worth the care. That’s pretty much how I get through times like this. I know this pattern. I know the ups and downs, and I keep breathing knowing I will get through it, with gentleness. I wish you all gentleness through your day.