Cracking Open

stomping on shells

So, apparently there is a shell to crack.  And I suppose that it’s no big surprise.  There have been signs:  the lethargy, the lack of connection with my practice, the empty hole of inspiration or drive for inquiry, but I thought maybe it was just the Winter Blues…..this feeling of being just a little bit stuck.

It sometimes comes across when I teach….not to the masses, but to the ones who know me.  Robotic.  Passionless.  All the right words at the right times, but as if in a dream.  Lackluster sleepwalking….sleep-teaching, whatever.

And it is interesting that if one has something to crack, it would imply that one has acquired a shell.  And after recent self-reflection, and a careful rat-a-tat-tat, I would say that is an accurate assessment.

There is nothing in my life that makes me feel really vulnerable.  Nothing that shakes me up to the core.  I used to cry ALL the time….like at commercials, cards, newspapers, and movies—hell, previews to movies….and NOT just before my period.  But now the wellsprings are dry.  I rarely, RARELY cry.  I have acquired an exoskeleton, a sense of balance that doesn’t get ruffled….attachment to no one and nothing….. tough enough.

There is a risk one assumes when you strive to always be a positive person.  Because what I have discovered happening is that, in the name of positivity, I submerge any of the yucky stuff.  My heart is lonely.  I miss having people around me that I feel really close to.  I’m tired of being independent and having to take care of myself always, everyday…with no one to rely on when you’re sick or just need a back rub at the end of a long day.   It’s exhausting.  I just want a hug and someone to say, “Here, let me do that.”

But who wants to hear about all that is missing, when truly there are so many blessings right in front of me….let alone, myself?  What good is wallowing going to do?  It certainly is not going to change the situation.  So, I always give myself the pep talk; tell myself to be positive, patient, chin up young grasshopper and focus on the good stuff, which is fine….except you turn into a Stepford wife with a plastic smile (and no husband).

I’m starting to recognize that we have to give space for sadness.  When you only focus on the good, the positive, the joy, you are not doing yourself a service.  Aversion is aversion, whether it is good or bad.   Pushing all the sad stuff, bad stuff, lonely stuff down is gonna cause cancer one day.   Embracing the spectrum of human emotion, makes you…well, human.  Only problem is, I don’t know how to crack.   Trying to cry makes me look like Lindsay from Arrested Development; face all scrunched up in a pseudo-sob, cheeks dry as paper.

I suppose I’m trusting that this, too, is part of a process.  And perhaps, taking some advice from Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.”


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly Mullen
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 18:25:36

    Boy do I know that feeling that you describe where everything in life just seems a little beige, a glimmer here and a glitter there, but not quite what it can be. Take it from a ‘strong girl’ who previously had to do everything herself…it’s ok to ask for support, and when you know how that support looks, feels, sounds and can communicate it, it’s even better! Maybe it’s just a hug, a cuddle, a listening ear. I am the eternal optimist and the always positive sunny smile…people get weirded out when I’m in one of my funks, but it is being part of being human, just as you said and they become even more inspired when they see you owning those times just as you own your glow in the good times!


    • Jennifer Reed
      Feb 10, 2013 @ 01:00:42

      Beige is an appropriate description! Thanks for reading and taking the time to share and respond! Being “strong” is overrated!


  2. Robin
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 05:34:17

    Former strong girl here ( we should start a club!). I hear you sweetie – loud and clear. I started reading the Power of Now to help me through these weird times and so far it’s making sense to me. Hope you find your Light my love 🙂 Big hugs!


  3. Melanie Claude
    Feb 14, 2013 @ 13:32:35

    You’re breaking such a taboo in this piece. It is so hard to really say “I need you” in our society. And for that I am going to say: when you are weak you are being strong, really. You are not complaining here you are contemplating and that’s a pretty good start.


  4. Mary Lynn Muttart
    Feb 17, 2013 @ 10:51:45

    xoxooxxoxoxox Perfect Jen!!!

    Ring the bells that still can ring.
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack, a crack in everything.
    That’s how the light gets in.”
    Leonard Cohen


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