Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elemental Needs, redux

I have been uncharacteristically silent here on my blog for some time now, as I have been struggling to make sense of the recent events and developments in my life. I must admit, I have been battling some depression in the last several months, making it difficult to focus on much beyond basic survival. So much of my process has escaped description in words, so even as I opened the blog to write, I simply sat mute, staring at the blank page.

I still find myself at a loss to explain the directions my life has gone lately, but I also know that my mind is hard at work, delving deeply for resolution. This is most clearly revealed in the intensity and symbolism of my recent dreams.

The symbolism is vivid, powerful, and evocative.

For example, the other night I dreamt that we were hosting a party, but the finished basement kept flooding, and with the water emerged flows of black beetles, all of which made me very angry as I tried to focus on our guests and keep the flooding under control (and out of sight of the guests).

Upon examination, this dream is not very difficult to interpret. The basement represents the deepest layers of my mind - the subconscious - which is being overcome by emotions (the water) that are out of control. The beetles represent forces at work against me, perhaps representing what I perceive to be deceit or trickery around me. All the while, I am desperately striving to maintain an appearance of outward calm and normalcy, as the hostess of the party. In all, not surprising, as I struggling daily to reconcile my life.

As the final term of my current employment marches ever closer to its end, I also am trying to deal with the health issues confronting me. Presently, I am in a waiting game, ticking off time until we check to see if the abnormal cells have returned.

I have never been patient, and I never deal well with uncertainty, so this three months of "wait and see" have created much anxiety, adding to my already full plate of discomfort.

In a couple of weeks, I have the test repeated and then wait for results.

In the depths of my angst, trying to keep afloat as the waves of anxiety wash over me, I have people reassuring me that things will all work out for the best. Ironically, it reminds me of the story of Voltaire's Candide, where he argues that, at each moment, "this is the best of all possible worlds." It's hard to understand how these seemingly negative situations could possibly be for the best.

And yet, I get these moments of great clarity and affirmation, in the midst of all of this junk.

Last weekend, I was blessed with a visit from my closest friend, Ellen, and her two children. We spent hours talking and sharing, hugging, and engaging in deep, make-your-belly-hurt laughter. It was an incredibly cathartic experience. My deepest angst took a much needed break and allowed me to reassess the blessings that surround me. It felt good, especially as Saturday was the "largest" full moon of the calendar year.

Ellen and my moon recharged me, giving me the energy to continue.

This week, I have returned to swimming. Even after a LONG hiatus, due mainly to my health, I was able to complete my regular routine without too much difficulty. Ironically, this return to swimming was not as soothing as I had anticipated, and I believe it is because I spent too much time away.

The lessons of this week have to do with being true to ourselves and to each other.

I have pledged to continue swimming. I have even committed it to my planner, making it harder to make excuses for not getting there. I have also pledged myself to feeding my other elemental needs as well.

Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Together these are the elements which must be balanced for us to reach a sense of equilibrium.

My weekend with Ellen reawakened my awareness of these elemental needs.

We sat for hours beside a gorgeous fire, watching the dancing flames and embracing its glowing warmth. We saw the full moon and felt its energy charging the air. I felt the hard earth beneath my chilled feet, supporting me. And I returned to the waters that embrace my very being and give motion to my soul.

So, this week, even as we face more difficulties and sorrow around us, I remain committed to these elemental forces and recognizing their role in helping me cope. The universe is not always calm, but it is always readjusting itself to remain in balance.

Here's to maintaining balance.

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