The past two or three weeks…hellish fear alternating with ordinary existence. Up and down, okay and then very not okay, but still okay, somehow. Waking up fully, recently to the apparently dire circumstances of the earth and few interested in taking appropriate action, systems that impose unsustainable ways of living, people everywhere disconnected, leaders and others at the top of the food chain unwilling to relinquish the status quo, the threat of 5G and the globe surrounded by satellites altering the environment we’ve adapted to in ways that are already harming all living things, a blue lit world that interferes with our built in biological master controls. Drugs and unlimited onscreen substitute for real life experiences, automatons instead of critical thinking humans. Inhumane treatment of others everywhere. I can’t believe that this is the shit I’ve awakened to. I wrestle with grief, fear, sadness, anger, disbelief. I keep noticing that there’s been a shift to a way less personal orientation to all of it. It’s less about me, or “happiness” or a career, or my stuff.

There’s my crying over my lost innocence, my thinking that it would all be fine one day after I healed the trauma wounds and figured out my place in the big picture. Then none of it makes sense when there’s no “me” to take seriously. And yet it all makes sense now. All the pieces fit. My lifelong discontent, sadness for the world, why I couldn’t drink the Koolaid in all my Econ classes…externalities waved away, like so much chalk dust on a blackboard. The missing depth when I tried to connect with others, the things I couldn’t tell anyone about because they could not see the same things I saw. Thinking something was wrong with me, but knowing I saw what I saw, all this time, unable to reconcile it and fit somewhere in the world.

Today didn’t turn out like I planned. Maybe I should start letting go of the criticism around that. Maybe I could accept I am not a well-planned kind of human and dump that extra stress, dump all the ideas I ever had about what I am supposed to be. I felt not terrible, despite the poor sleep.

Spent most of the morning til 12:30 outside, grateful. Walking him to the bus stop, gawking at at a neighbor’s beautiful garden on the way back, reading, eating, weeding, watching the mosquitos, and the bumblebees coming back to work, meeting with a friend online for unexpected discussions. Afterward seeing a doe and spotted fawn next door, eyeballing me and the organic buffet of my yard. Trying to talk myself out of my yard and into the gym.

Then I realized I had an appointment earlier than I remembered, and the whole day shifted. I ate lunch and showered and went, and had very good sessions (I still keep being surprised – it feels outside of my control, somehow, larger than me), discovered the third client had canceled but I had missed the info.

So there was no painting trim, no meditating, no exercise. There was the cup of tea I hadn’t planned. Catching beetles, watering some wilted garden friends. Choosing to run the grocery errand, clean the kitchen and make dinner, instead of computer work.

I heard myself say while talking to the friend this morning, there is no strategy that works anymore for the fear. “Even trying to get ground makes no sense”, I say, “because… well, I AM the ground.” It’s indescribable. I connect with my body, my center, my me-ness, and then it suddenly shifts and it feels like it’s EVERYTHING. It’s not mine. It’s the earth and the sky and the void and me and it’s shifting, alive, breathing. It’s all happening inside the space of that. And it isn’t anything inside of anything. It’s all one thing. I cannot place the hierarchy I used to use. It doesn’t fit. Everything just IS. It doesn’t need my help.

As we talk, the friend and I, I realize there is no point in trying to find a safe place to be with all that’s happening. I try to convey this and succeed a little. I tell her I’m content to leave it an open question right now…how to be with what’s happening to the earth, to people, and the traumatic disconnection that supports all that appears to be so destructive. I’m not sure I made any sense.

I’m embarrassed about not holding the meeting last night that I was so interested in having when I announced at meditation it a week ago, to try to read Joanna Macy or David Loy together, to DO something. I know I may still have to come and go from the terror of what might happen to me or those I love because of the environment’s effects, and I will try my best to view this as  the doorway to freedom and not turn away from the opportunity.

As the day goes on, I realize, every story has a bias, and I cannot find one that is more true than another. This is so disorienting. Nowhere to rest my head. At least it’s shifting fast enough to save me the embarrassment of starting some campaign or another only to have the understanding and the energy pulled out from underneath it all like a rug. I have experiences of others working very hard to avoid this place, or tocompletely numb to it, or substituting comfortable perspectives in order to cope – just to survive. I understand and feel no judgement in this moment.

I wonder at how and why I keep going in this journey. It truly feels like every teacher’s description: a combination of Grace and integrity – following the trail that leads to the truth of being, no matter where it goes. I’m starting to feel less pull to keep “working on my trauma”. Every time I get on a table, or sit in the client chair, or even meditate, the wave of unfolding starts and goes until the last minute of the hour. It’s predictable now, and feels ordinary, and as it should be. The unwinding is just happening, no trying or efforting. Less fear today, in this moment, about where it’s all going. Something seems fundamentally different today, and I am grateful. Sweet relief.


About Cynthia M Clingan

Cynthia Clingan is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Columbus, Ohio who offers somatic psychotherapy, spiritual coaching, and meditation and mindfulness instruction.
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