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My Crossroads

It never fails when I turn my gaze outward looking to fulfill an inward want, I’m disappointed. It just never fails. As I find fault with people around me and lack of something and the wish for more attention and wanting to feel special and boredom at routines, I realize I’m not listening. I’m not listening to her quiet voice reminding me she’s there. I’m not hearing her want to feel special and her need for more time and her need for compassion and her fear for being different.

I’m ignoring the little girl tugging at my shirt. I’m ignoring the sound of crying in the dark. I’m ignoring the desire to be seen. I’m ignoring.

It’s easy to ignore when I’ve had so much practice looking outside for the answers. It’s easy to ignore my inner crying when I drown it out with the noise of life. It’s easy to get in line behind the shadows of my past and continue the neglect.

It feels burdensome to have the responsibility of making me happy. Isn’t that what the adults in my life were supposed to do? It’s a crossroads I find myself at when I forget it’s up to me. Once I take the time to honor my needs, doorways open and compassion comes in. Windows are cracked and more light enters. As I break my bonds, I can feel free and find movement. Suddenly there’s opportunities for stepping outside my box of safety. Otherwise, by choosing to ignore and forget, I’m back in the loop of wanting more.

My life hasn’t changed. The challenges are still there. I’ve changed. I find more solutions. I find comfort with my alone time. I find ways to be in the world in my life in my heart.

Finding the Beloved by Danna Faulds

From Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga, 2002

I spread the feast,

Blanket bending

The slender stems

Of daisies.

I cast my gaze

In all directions,

Watching for my love.

I light a candle,

Shelter it with

A glass chimney,

Break the bread

And pour the wine,

And wait and wait,

Then strain my eyes

Looking to the far

Horizon where the sun

Sinks behind magenta

Hills. Longing fills

Me, and the first star

Speaks silently to me:

“The one that you await

Is already within the gates;

Turn your gaze inside, and

Greet them.” Oh, that

Meeting! The sweet

Fulfillment of the bride,

The wise stars wheeling

In the night sky…

They were with me

All the while.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you. I loved the line “it feels burdensome to have the responsibility of making me happy.” That is the lesson that we have to learn, that we are creators of our own happiness. We don’t get to give the responsibility away and expect someone else to fix us or heal us. It’s an inside job. That was a beautiful reading and I’m grateful for the reminder.

  • Thank you for that reading. And to remember when I’m feeling all the needs, to recognize that it’s the little girl who didn’t get her needs met. My stuffed guerilla has a T-shirt that says ‘get curious.’ During the meditation, I decided to hold him as my inner child and to see how that felt. What’s in there. Get curious. What came up was a creativity bubble, have you hugged your monkey today? I’ve been talking about the monkey-mind so much and all of a sudden it was there. That’s what happens when I can get quiet in meditation and go inside and ask myself the questions instead of looking for the questions outside. Holding your monkey helps.

  • Your reading today reminded me how much attention I put on what other people are doing to me. If they wouldn’t do this or that, and I have to protect myself from that. During the meditation, I thought what if I put all that energy and attention into a very practical observation of what I want to make me happy. I’m hoping to switch that around today, in a practical way. What is it I need, not what do I need them to do for me? Thank you.

  • Use it as a toggle. When that thought comes in, revert to what do I need for me.

  • As I think about my inner self, I was reminded of putting on my own face mask, taking care of myself, and then being able to help others. I’ve found these couple of weeks, in taking care of myself, I’ve been able to reach out to others in a quiet and loving way. It’s wonderful.

  • It reminds me of the metaphor I learned when my daughter was born so sick. In an airplane, the air masks come down and I put mine on first before I help her. It was so essential.

  • Thank you for this reading. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with looking for others to make me feel special, to acknowledge that I am special and it can lead to dark consequences. It’s good to be reminded of that. Yesterday, I was making myself some homemade chicken soup and I thought, “I’m really taking good care of myself.” And then I wondered where that thought came from. It came from this daily practice, from how you end the group. You don’t say ‘thank you for coming or thank you for joining me.’ You say ‘thank you for showing up for yourself.’ Everyday, it’s like a little ping, I showed up for myself. It’s building. Thank you. I am showing up for myself and it is resonating in my life, and hopefully, I’ll have less need to look outside of myself for validation.

  • It’s a process. By showing up for you, it inspires me to show up for me. It’s a ripple effect.

  • I wish you all a gentle day and to honor your hearts and be joyful in your gentling.

Photo credit: "Doorway to Heaven," oil painting by Barbara Riga, 1977

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