The Crack

I used to dream a horrible dream when I was little. I was walking along a path and along each edge there were very big people screaming at me. I always didn’t know why but I think I believed I deserved it. Or maybe I made that up because that is my natural tendency, to believe that.

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Cut to my twenties…something turns off with my conscious mind and I simply inhabit my body. A human at 22 is something great, physically. It is rare to find an aware 22 year old. The reason, I think, is that their bodies are as perfect as a human can be and imposing psychology on a perfect body is a buzz killer. It is the time for the amazing possibility that life is as great as this body functions. For a few that happens, but mostly we live our bodylife during that decade and we wonder about it later when something painful wakes us up. I will speak for myself because some of you may be in the lucky cadre that lives asleep but in your bodies forever. You are few, but I respect your uncanny charm, even if I don’t buy a damn word of it. I digress (not really).

Anyway, so I am not twenty-five and physically perfect. I am 47 and my dreams (even really old ones) teach me things and I am listening and you know, for 47, I am still doing ok in my body. I just have this brain or spirit or psyche that asks tough questions…Who was that screaming at a perfectly good child? Are we everyone in our dreams even when we are 5? How could I have that row of yelling big people in me at five? How do I have myself and awareness and the other side of the coin–unawareness and just being, in my body, in this time and this place. I don’t know. I could not have had this conversation 20 or 10 years ago….time moves backwards for awareness. Then a crack opens and there is no going back, but what happens then after the crack is good, in the end, after pain and mourning and feeling things that were impossible 20 or 10 years ago. I should mention here that someone close to me recently cursed me and invited my life to play out only in my mirage of shame (see here), and even though I know my dreams will play with this curse, I am saying to you all now and here that I won’t eat that poison pie. If I do it is my ego asking me to be awful so you will tell me I’m not. That is the worst kind of reassurance, don’t you think?

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And there I am holding my son, one this week, who is only present and who is only feeling and without boundaries and vulnerable and sometimes I am not up to that. I can’t be in the presence of that. My own shame, worthlessness, seeps in. His shining presence is too much for me and I focus on the mundane, the shit he still makes like we all do. I have just barely enough of me to ask for help and I have a partner who sees something of this in me and checks in, and I have the privilege of asking my partner to take over while I go find myself…here, even though it is Mother’s Day and every day she works all day at this, this being in the presence of presence which is, for me, overwhelming.
And I know that I am as good and flawed as you and that it therefore does not matter. By that I mean that if I know my shame or my goodness is just like yours is to you, then we can just agree we are the same, flawed, perfect. My shame is the same as yours and my essential goodness is the same as yours. Even though everything in me wants to tell a story to make me make worthlessness somehow special in its unique worthlessness, it isn’t. It is the same as yours, and so is the goodness and there is my path, back through the crack to the essential me, the part that connects to you and loses myself at times, here for instance, or in Rose’s undying hope in us, or in some crazy, beautiful light glancing off the stud on a punk’s leather jacket or the crack in a log, long dead, that makes remember I am alive…for instance.

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3 Responses to The Crack

  1. Kathleen says:

    It is hard to surface when submerged in shame. I find the more I compare myself to others the less I have of me. Sometimes it feels like my goodness has been reduced to the last small pearl in the ocean.

  2. Sue Kay says:

    I believe that those very big people yelling at you – at 5 – are you – still yelling at your 5 year old ever time you use “my” when referring to shame. There is an indirect but profound effect on our inner child when we take any kind of ownership of something like shame. My story sounded much the same until I chose to stop myself from shaming on myself with the ownership of it. Being in the presence of your own presence is to gift yourself with presents – presents of kindness, peace, gentleness, and, yes, even joy. That was your gift to me and that would be my wish for you.

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