March 16, 2015

Good or Evil? Why am I still so busy and have I learned my lesson yet?

Adapted from photo of Howling Wolf, limited print by Norman Knott; from
The other day, visiting a friend, I came across this story, about 2 wolves.  A month ago, a big dark horse threw me off her back, not because she was evil, but because she was easily startled. I thought I was focused on the moment, on riding, on connecting with her, but perhaps I was distracted, and maybe it was due to the multitude of things that have been keeping me busy lately.

It's been a month now, and I've been healing slowly. Too slowly for my impatient self. But still, I'm much much better than I could be. In this month, I have had quite a lot of time for reflection, to take time, to be quiet and with myself. But do I use that time well? Not so often. And this is a sad truth. I am rushing ahead, still working full speed ahead on most fronts. As if I need an extra push off a horse or something else in order to slow down and smell the roses.

I certainly do have 2 halves of myself (or should I say - at least 4 quarters) if not more.

There is an evil part that was very frustrated, angry, easily irritated, impatient (and yes, the medication I took did say that I might have some mood swings as a side effect - holddddd on there, while I swing around like a crazy pendulum completely off balance and yet - yes, that's a part of me too!).
There's another part - intensely grateful for all the help I got from so many people - especially my immediate family - pulling on socks for me, helping me sit down on the toilet, undoing my bra (sorry for the details), doing all the things that I normally don't even think about doing and would certainly never ask for help - I became like a big baby - "I'm hungry now, feed me", "I have to pee now, help me." While it was very uncomfortable to ask for help - they all did help me, and mostly with a smile and a joke (which unfortunately is not a good idea when recovering from a broken rib), but still, I know it was well intended. And I feel a slightly softer, more vulnerable person in a strange way for letting them help me...? Does that make any sense?

Then there's a side of me that is very ambitious. I can't let go of anything at all. Work must go on. So, I work from home, take medicine, go to teach, go to coach, etc. With enormous self control I had to say 'no' to a few things - sorry I can't go out to this meeting or that one. Sorry, I will have to stay at home tonight, sorry I will have to now sleep 6 hours after my first day teaching again (this was 3 weeks after the accident).
There's a lazy or relaxed side too. Thank goodness for that side. It has me sitting right now in a comfortable chair - with laptop on my knees and facing the watery sun that is trying to shine through the big pane windows of my living room. Not lazy, you say? Well, it's true that I'm still 'working,' but it's on something I love to do - so that doesn't count as work, does it? It's pretty exhausting to do it all and get back on top of things so soon - so around 6:00 pm, I stop functioning and become a major league couch potato. I have found myself yawning uncontrolably at 7:00 p.m. and often these days go to bed way before 11:00. Yes, for me, that is very unusual.

Wolves, yes, well the point of all this is - I guess that most of us humanoids have a few different parts of ourselves that we have to live with. Some parts we can love easily (the kind, loving laughing parent comes to mind), while other parts are less lovable.

The feeding part is important too.  I don't think I can totally 'starve' the impatient, frustrated and angry parts of myself - after all - they are a little like a siamese twin part of myself, and if they go - then so do I - but at least I can pay attention to the kind wolf - enjoy the sun while working, keep in touch with good friends and love the people around me. I can watch less news about the evils of the world and keep in touch with inspiring information and people. I suppose this is the choice element.

Have I learned my lesson yet? I hope I'm getting there. I try to do things with attention. To make time to relax and to paint. To have meaningful moments of contact with those I come in touch with. I'm learning. But slowly.


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