People who know me have probably been waiting for this day to come. The day that Laurie Anne McCauley finally fucking figures out that life IS HARD! I just finished a Courage & Renewal Cohort retreat. I'm sitting in the library at the Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, VT all alone. I stayed an extra night precisely to write and process what may be the most meaningful recent breakthrough. So settle in... I'm in a beautiful place and not in a hurry with a lot to sort through.
I have experienced things as easy that others have undyingly described as hard. Quitting smoking is the example I'll use. I rankle when people say it. Especially people who never smoked or quit smoking. "That's so,.,, HARD... Wasn't that the HARDEST thing ever?" and on and on. It pisses me off actually, (which should be a nod that there's something there for me to examine further.) My experience of not smoking is EASY... there is no desire to smoke,,, there is no temptation... no longing... no internal battle. The obsession has lifted. The process of quitting was annoying and required a lot of creativity, persistence and perseverance.... but that doesn't register as HARD... just tenacious endurance and necessity.
So maybe in my definition of Hard, I'm grasping at pins or smoke or something.,, oh straws, I'm grasping at straws... (that's a weird saying for Grant & Martha.) Anyway, you get the picture. It's fucked up and apparently I have been resisting anything that seems hard and just not doing it... Shit! Hello!?!
I can usually tweak my perspective, point of view, attitude and head space to convince myself that things are not "hard" but if it really is hard I simply avoid it. I don't think that's surrendering so guess what...? I'm surrendering my avoidance of things I perceive as hard. Or scary for that matter... but let's stick with hard for now. (See how I want to make it more and harder so I can avoid it!! I'll save scary surrender for another day.) I am REALLY attached to things being easy. I just realized I am really PROUD of the fact that things are easy for me, especially if others think it's hard. If it's not easy then it's not meant to happen or be or it's completely going to remove me from the "flow." Talk about convincing... I have no idea where it came from or how it protects me or why but I am adamantly secured to the concept of Ease and Grace in all things always. You can find blog posts about the untruth of "No Pain No Gain" and other rants about how unfair it is that the suffering is directly proportional to the gains realized. The fact that we are in a paradoxical, relative reality... I'm still fighting it!! Silly but true.
The situation with food and eating and adjusting my "in the moment" attitude is fucking hard, dammit! There's nothing easy about it. The fact that I have been wanting and waiting for it to be easy is, apparently, part of the fuel that fires it's continuation. There is no obsession to be lifted in this dilemma. There is a huge shift and complete 180 in thinking about time and logevity and food and self care. Things I have never really considered before without judgement or rules or fear or embarrassment or expectations.... without loads and piles and mountains of fucking baggage I didn't even know was there.
Here's the source of the breakthrough.... I have for my life written poetry, my entire life. It has been easy. So far there has been nothing hard about writing poetry. Anything that appeared as hard I promptly and completely evaded and deflected. It is and was always about and for me and only me. A form of self expression that I seldom shared or even felt the inclination to share. I also realize now that sharing risked vulnerability and judgement and all kinds of nasty possible feelings so it was easier to just keep it to myself. I also could harbor delusions of grandeur and live in certainty that all my poems would absolutely be discovered, monumental and wise once I am dead. Once again much easier to live in the fantasy world than actually expose myself to the light of day and see the truth may not be what I imagined. Excellent plan!! It's worked for me for decades! Yeah!
The breakthrough.... I'm getting there! Reading other poets just started a year ago when I started coming to the Courage and Renewal retreats. The last time I read poetry other than mine was when I was very young. It provided much need clarity, perspective and inspired me to write and that was enough. Now I'm noticing the positive, enlightening impact that poetry still has on me and I wonder if there is something in my poetry that others may benefit from. I know I have talent... raw talent... and here's the rub... honing the rawness is HARD! I perceive it as WORK... (new word alert...) to acuminate the natural ability I have to put forth time and effort and think hard and listen to people who may know more than I do... I have to be vulnerable and brave and kind to myself. SHIT!! And I have to practice over and over... another core belief that needs to shift... repetitive practice, repetitive anything is boring and boring is Hard and Hard is to be avoided at all costs. Here it is... the universe presented a teacher for me for poetry. When the student is ready and all that jive... and I had the courage to ask for help. And I had the courage to accept that there may be "hard work" involved AND... AND that that is OK!
The breakthrough is so fucking simple... I'm just growing up. That's all! This involves work and collaboration and reconciling my fantasies and my feelings and my being with the world I'm living in and the people around me. Not loosing but finding myself whole in that reality and figuring out what the fuck I want to do when I grow up! Damn!
So everything is OK.... even when it's not OK and it is apparently true that HARD is also OK. Surrendering or getting over or around or under my resistance to "HARD" is just the next step. Onward & upward... Ho!
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!