Someone transported a virtual archangel to me via interstellar whoosh. I think it was Michael. “Help me to simplify my life,” I prayed at a newly created white altar.
Then my hard drive crashed, taking with it beloved photos and all my school lessons. I had no back up. How’s that for simplification?
I chuckled at the beauty of this divine joke, but then only changed slightly, subtly in response – which is my typical stealthy and slow way of growing anyway, if I’m being honest. I still have a thirst that can’t be quenched for new trinkets or new temporary hobbies to distract me, so stuff piles up in my home before too long. The shopping is fun too. At least now I notice when I consume blindly, like a hypnotized fool. I notice, but letting the habit go is not as easy. There are nuanced layers. I house objects to fill an emptiness – a void – where closeness with other people should be.
Some people don’t notice when the universe sends an important message or warning, and some of us notice but still don’t do the work needed to move forward. It’s too real, too scary.
Just the same, driving on the highway in a blinding rain storm, I told my dog pal Beanie, “No matter what happens next, I’m content.” I meant it too. Feeling blessed helps me continue battling out of those stuck places.
The Internet Works Better with an Open Heart
Social media, like my apartment, is a hot mess. At the same time, both are nothing but raw honesty, and are just a heartbeat away from cracking wide open.
Through social media we have an opportunity to share with each other – to learn from and to teach each other ways of navigating and of moving forward. But we can only help each other when we’re naked of our armor.
Last night, beginning to get off on a magical treat, it struck me that my too-frequent attitude toward other people suffers the twin curses of suspicion and self-defense. That’s the “shithole” way, to borrow a term from our Con Man in Chief. Oh, let it not be my way anymore, I thought. Better to speak truth to power, but with kindness and respect. Better yet to pay attention before reacting critically. It also struck me that sometimes only cannabis brings me around to remembering how we’re all connected to one another – especially when I’m so tense and defensive I forget it. Yes, the connection holds even when I’ve slipped off and can’t see it. And while I’d like to stay in the flow without the need for that loving plant support, these are tough times. It’s often hard to keep my heart open without it.
Anyway, I’m trying to learn to give everyone a chance. Mostly when I do, I find a human being looking back at me. This isn’t too hard in person, but social media’s remoteness sometimes grants us an excuse to forget we’re interacting with other people; promoting and defending ideas in the cyber world can make it harder to remember that we’re humans among others of our kind. That’s a lot of lost opportunities.
Distraction = Evasion
I distract myself by jumping off to something or to somewhere else – hobbies, quests, games… My brother’s ex-partner once called him on this. We were in the car, and she’d just asked him some question – something seemingly simple, maybe about a bottle of Advil – and he grunted or shrugged in response. She asked the question again, and he said, “Huh?” She let him have it, with: “You always pretend you don’t hear me whenever you don’t want to talk about something!” I’d never before heard a woman tell a man what’s what at close range, and it was a revelation to me. She really held his feet to the fire in their relationship, and it did him good, ultimately. Best of all, I learned something too.
Maybe that anecdote is more about evasiveness than about distraction, but what’s the difference? Because essentially, I’m a lot like my brother. I see invisible challenges or potential roadblocks and immediately distract myself with nothing of any consequence. Used to be sex. Oh yes. Unable to deeply connect with another person in any committed way, I satisfied my hormonal itches by rubbing up against other itchy people. That was fine, until it wasn’t anymore.
Today I notice myself tripping off whenever a task asks for more mental, physical, or emotional energy than I can muster at that moment. But I’m working on remedying my condition. It begins with a realization that the physical world is real and in need of my attention at times, and it ends with remembering that whatever I said “Huh?” to usually does not disappear on its own. It will grow dust waiting for my loving care. At some point, I’ll need to tune in.