Sunday, August 1, 2010

Letting Go and Into Wangthang

In Tibetan, authentic presence is wangthang, which literally means, 'field of power'... The cause or the virtue that brings about authentic presence is emptying out and letting go. You have to be without clinging.  Chogyam Trungpa

I have mentioned, letting go does not come easy to me.  Letting go of things.  Letting go of people.  Letting go of ideas.  Letting go of expectations.  Letting go of assumptions.  Letting go of certainty.  Letting go of holding on.
 
The holding on has always been what I am good at.
 
Sometimes you really have to wonder, does the universe deliver just what you need when you are ready to learn it.  You know, that old "When the student is ready, the teacher arrives."
 
I know in my life, I've been ready for something.  I didn't know what it was.  I had a sense it was coming.  As if I was waiting for it, but did not know what "it" was.
 
When I received the news of my breast cancer diagnosis in April, I started to power up.  I had an idea of what would be ahead, and I knew I would need to be a strong warrior to walk this path, for myself, and for the people that love me.  I started to power up. 
 
Like I imagine a soldier does before a battle.  Piling on layer upon layer of armor to battle my opponent.  Piling on layer after layer.
 
I am learning this is all wrong.
 
I am learning to let go, to trust, to close my eyes, fall back in to wangthang, my authentic presence.
 
and it's not all powered up.
 
It is naked and raw, bone and blood and marrow.  It is quiet and open and fragile and tender.
 
I am removing the layers, taking off the armor and the pretense.  Shedding.
 
Deeper deeper deeper into those secret places of me.  The lit places.  The dark places.  The open wide as a meadow places.  The locked places.
 
I revisited something the other day when I went to the lab to get my blood drawn.  Poked once.  No blood, no vein, nothing came out.  Poked twice.  Still nothing.  I feel myself getting anxious.  Upset.  I try and breathe through it when she says "I guess we're going to have to use your hand."
 
I get smaller.  Smaller.  Smaller.  This does not feel ok.  I don't want to do this.  I get smaller.  I say "ok" and hold out my hand.
 
You ever try and give blood out of your hand?  It hurts.  It is wicked and feels wrong.  I don't like it.
 
I said "ok."
 
Nothing came out of the hand either.
 
Later that night, I was agitated and upset with myself.  Very upset.  There have been times in my life, when I silenced myself and went against myself when I knew I could have said "Enough."  Enough.
 
I thought I was past that.  I thought in all my warrior strength I was past that.
 
I'm not.
 
Where and when and why did that start in me?  Staying silent, going against myself, not allowing myself to have limits and safe boundaries.
 
The lab was a small metaphor for other times in my life where the suffering has been far greater.  The suffering I could have avoided.  The suffering I chose because I did not think I deserved better.
 
Sometimes in the ordinary things that happen, a hidden piece of yourself is unearthed.  It's so much easier to take your little yellow shovel and your red bucket, and pile up the sand and make a castle on top of it, burying it again. 
 
I have no choice in major parts of this reinvention of myself that is taking place.  I do though, have choices, all the time, every day, in allowing myself its self.  Being ok with what is ok for me, and saying so when it's not.
 
Carl Jung said ~ Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

I do miss my shovel and my pail. I miss all the castles I built to hide what was painful to recognize in me.  I miss the stories I told about all those castles, and the characters I filled those castles with.  I am very good at the castles with secrets buried underneath.

I have always been much better at creating a false reality that suited me, like a holodeck on Star Trek.

Cancer does not allow this.

There is a reality about cancer that blows out all the candles, and shatters all the mirrors, removes the party hats, pours out the liquor, and makes you look at your life and your stuff under fluorescent lighting.  That ugly ugly light.

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

~ M. Scott Peck

It occurred to me today there is no there better than here.

There is no me better than today.

and I have the power to liberate myself from my own fear.

What do I fear?  My power.  My transparency.  Loving and living large.

and by doing this, I fear, you won't love me. 

There was an article in my local paper about me today.  About my cancer.  About my blog.  There was a picture of me next to the article.  The biggest picture you could imagine, way too big, over the top big, with a caption that read "Deb Clay was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 21."

You can't hide from that.

Hello cancer.  Come in.  Sit down.  I'm listening.  I'm awake.  I'm naked.

Bring it on.

How do you like my wangthang now baby?

"It" is here.  That something I knew was coming.

It's me.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Lady ~
Oh how you make me laugh, cry, and smile; all at the same time! Your strength empowers me. Your honesty makes me feel like I'm not alone in this battle to let go to live and love large. You are truly a blessing to us all.
I love you, xoxox

writergirldreams said...

Thank you D, for the love and encouragement, and for the cards with stickers. :) Thank you. Big hug. Just trying to find my way here, both of me, the big girl me, and the little girl me. We are both present and accounted for. Thanks for listening. and relating. deb

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