Sunday, July 21, 2013
Breaking the Addiction of Struggle
Well… we did it. We finally moved to the country. This New York girl is now living amongst vineyards and horse ranches. I walk around the corner to get my mail. I wake up and hear roosters and horses. I smell hot pine in the heat of the summer and I go for my morning walks on acres donated by the Mills family with a view of beautiful fields of grapevines and corrals and old giant oak trees. I haven’t felt this excited about a “place” since I moved to Portland, Oregon and marveled at the sight of Mt. Hood, The Columbia Gorge and Mt. St. Helens.
It’s been a tricky thing practicing what Pema Chodron calls “walking in the middle.” By this I mean not getting too attached to the good OR the bad. I confess I did let the “good” get to me. Though I knew, like everything, that would change eventually… and not that things got bad… but contrast to life appeared…
This whole ride began over a month ago when we decided to move. We not only found a house to live in, we connected with our landlords who we already consider friends… in fact, we came up to drop some things off at the house and we stayed at their new house and it was so natural and easy. We had dinner and breakfast together. Then… they had an open house party at their new place and scheduled so we could be there… to meet our new neighbors… and we did. We met all of our neighbors on our block and around the corner and everyone was so welcoming.
The house we are renting is beautiful and tranquil and we saved the money we made by selling a lot of things and bought a used hot tub, something we have wanted for a very very long time. The owner of the house spent hours and hours setting up the electrical aspect to make it all work. In the interim, his wife took me to the magical place I now walk every morning. It’s quiet and green and beautiful and dog friendly. This is only half of it, but my point is that I realized that I am having a difficult time feeling worthy of all this goodness. I have struggled for so long and I know the feeling of anxiety when I feel out of control, but never from feeling out of control because good things are happening. I realize that it is this aspect of my personality that frightened me about being in the music business. I knew, that if I ‘made it” I would have overdosed or something, because I would have been anesthetizing that feeling of fear from being so out of my element… struggle. Obviously my present struggle has to do with feeling worthy of this newfound environment.
In the midst of all this goodness, I learned that my step-mom’s prognosis for her cancer was dire… another reason why it is difficult for me to feel worthy of all this… and my dad and biological mom, who have their own health challenges… and my brothers who are taking care of everyone there… while I am here building a new life. I know they are happy for me and want to see me thrive and I do them as well… but it all comes down to self-love and self-worth. I’ve come too far to “change” my life so I know this angst is all a part of the growth.
And as I looked around our new house, that is painted mostly all white, I am reminded of the deconstruction I believe is taking place. I moved from a house where I painted every room a different color – and rich colors, southwestern colors and now- by choice, I am living in a house with white walls and ceilings. They represent the clean slate… and new page… I like looking at them… and letting whatever thoughts I have reflect off of them… and little by little I am introducing color into the house. My husband has relinquished, for the most part, the designing of the house to me, even though he really liked the colors of the old house.
Once again, I am reminded of the color, or rather, the non-color of white… neutral and only altered when one adds something to it. And as most know, I am working on a series “Deconstruction of an Artist” with self- portraits that I take wearing a white dress. And the more I remember to get out of the way of the natural evolution of my life, the more that is revealed, with love and joy…
Obviously I am very sad about the state of affairs with my family’s health and I see things as more precarious than ever. It’s a reminder to stay in the present stay in today… and so… with this, I hope I am one step closer to letting go of my “blanky” my old torn blanket of struggle which doesn’t serve me… or ever really has… except for getting me to this point where I am now, more willing to fly higher, even as scared as I am.