Observing my father towards the end of his life, I had the feeling that his personality traits were becoming more and more vivid. It was as if he was distilling down to the essence of who he was. Like many of his generation, he hadn’t pursued a life of deep introspection or psychological insight, so much of what he manifested was not terribly positive. (Sorry, Dad – I loved you all the same). Now, as I am growing into elderhood myself, I’ve begun to wonder if a similar thing is happening to me. I can’t say I’m thrilled about it, but it does make the inner work pretty obvious.
I’ve written before - lots - about being fear-based. Fear has become my regular companion lately. These last six months, with all of the transitions and changes, have found me lurching from one fear to the next. The smaller ones I am sometimes able to breathe through and either drop or at least shake my head at myself about. AGAIN? REALLY?
The bigger ones are harder. I tell myself that if everything works out okay with this one, I will relax and not get so freaked out next time. And then there’s a next time, and I can’t live up to that. What I’m noticing is how many next times there are. Lots and lots of them. I’ve tried to explain to Barry that it’s like this: I try to calm myself, but I don’t seem to get enough time and space to really drop deeply down. So, my nerves only settle so far. Then, when the next stressor strikes, I’m quickly over the top again. I do hope that a more peaceful period will come in the near future, but there’s no guarantee. Who knows? We work with what we’re given. Tra-la!
I read a great blog post today by Martin Shaw, a wonderful storyteller, writer, and all-around wise person. He was talking about giant energy. The giant is what we’ve stuffed down into the basement, what we don’t like about ourselves. It reminds me of Robert Bly’s idea of the black bag we drag behind us that has everything we learned not to look at or deal with. But I especially like the image of the giant. As much as I’ve tried to shove the fear giant down there, he’s bound to try to push his way back up. What else would a giant do?
Figuring out how to relate to my giant may be the best thing I can do to avoid distilling down to nothing but a scared old lady. If it’s true that we become more of who we are as we age, let it be the best of us.
Our Day of the Dead ritual is only 3 days away. Boy, do I have some stuff to give over to the water shrine!