Have you ever not known how badly you needed something, until you finally got it? I had that kind of weekend, a lot of gratitude tears were shed. I’ve always been a make-do sort of girl, ’cause life doesn’t always throw you what you want. It took me a long time to make friends with my needs. I had a mentor, used to always say to me: how’s your neediness today? When I stopped getting angry when she asked that I knew I was finally okay with the part of me that knew I couldn’t do it alone.
Funny thing owning up to your needs, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll automatically get them met. So THAT pissed me off for a while.
And then I figured out how to need unconditionally, the same way I can love unconditionally. To love without expectation is a freeing kind of love; to admit to your needs, even if they aren’t getting met, is part of honouring yourself, even if the rest of the world is letting you down. Think about it, a Sudanese refuge is very much in need of some personal security, stability, and sheesh! probably a sandwich. Circumstances may be such they don’t get that, but for them to say: Yeah… no this homelessness and turmoil is fine, I’m good. Really. would be utterly absurd. But how often do we do that to ourselves?
The not-crazy thing to do is to say: Hey this is what I need… and once you know that, you can go about getting it. Sometimes you cobble it together from bits and pieces, make the best you can for yourself, until something else comes along to more fully fill that space. My spiritual life has been much like that. For a long time now I’ve known I needed a community, that to go deeper I couldn’t go alone. Because I have a foot in Christianity and a foot in the history of all my learning leading up to “picking a path” I’ve been feeling a discord in both my communities. Individual gems and treasures that each meet a part of what I need, but always wandering, making sure the other pieces got fed too. And never finding “community” in its entirety.
This weekend that changed. For the first time ever, how I saw the world and the language used to describe that world were in accord with an entire room full of people. What I felt was utter relief. Any part of myself I had to wall off to relate to others was blown wide open. Surrounded by a critical mass of people who quite simply weren’t afraid to love or be loved allowed me to relax and fully open to everything I needed at the deepest level imaginable. The risk of that, the fear of hoping, was frightful, but the reward astounding.
So yeah, pretty wild, and I’m still processing, but how this ties into creativity and my latest 100 days project (see, if you ride the tangent train long enough I eventually pull into the station) is the freaky way creative expression is tangled up in our dreaming and intuition. Art, in all its forms, gives voice to things we don’t have words for, whether they be wounds, needs, wishes, fears, dreams. Sometimes it isn’t until we’ve taken those indefinable things out to play for a while that we can see: oh yeah, THAT’S what that’s about.
Day 8 of my creativity project was celebrating Equinox with setting fire to all last year’s crap to let it go (on slips of paper, thus very cleverly NOT burning the house down) followed by making collage mandalas of what you’d like to bring in for the new year. Which basically is a little of owning up to what you need and what you wish for. The cool thing about the collages is it’s mostly images rather than words so your right brain can cue up all sorts of stuff you may not have realized you needed, and dare I say, your Spidey-sense might even tell you some stuff you may not have know was coming. I was more than a little floored to see a whole corner of my little collage come to life within days of its creation. Even as I made it I knew it was a little cluster for my spiritual life, hands grazing grass at sunset is a common meditation visual for me, but now I see all sorts of other layers of meaning that make a new kind of sense now.
Life can sometimes surprise you. And sometimes it surprises you by giving you exactly what you need. I’m astounded to find something I thought I would just always have to make-do fulfilled so utterly and completely. I fished my wish, as the kids say. It didn’t come on MY timeline, and it didn’t come where I was trying to make it happen, and I absolutely had to pull my head out of my ass and say Hellz ya when the unexpected fell in my lap, but I got exactly what I’d known I’d needed, without compromise, or having to tuck a wee little bit of my soul away.
Now that I know this is possible, I am super jazzed about some of the other images nested in this collage. In particular a major feature is a couple playing scrabble barefoot on a lush green carpet. I can already detect some subliminal needs in there. A relationship that’s companionable, a fella that’s clever, grounded, comfortable in his own skin. A fella, incidentally, edged by that spiritual corner. In the dating I’ve done I’ve always felt I’ve had to tuck away some corner of who I am, a different part for different guys, but some piece of me always felt left out. I’ve taken a time-out on the dating, I think in part because that spiritual side needed a lot more attention lately, but in part because I was just fed up, tucking away part of who I was all the time. I’d rather be all out, all by myself.
This realization that yes, sometimes you get to have your deepest needs answered, Fully, Completely, makes me want to dream bigger, believe harder, and risk more. And say Bugger That! to what society says a relationship should look like, and what is possible. It took me 20 years to find a spiritual community that fit my needs, it may take 20 more to find a fella (though God I hope not!), and I may not find it at all. But I will be damned if I’m gonna tuck away a piece of my soul and make-do on this one. The dreaming is in motion, we’ll just have to see what comes up.
Oh, and my mandala has some bahdonkadonk dancing. I’m gonna go manifest that reality Right Now. Join me? (sorry about the embedded commercial, alas! the internet is not perfect).