Living by default

There’s this continual thing I do, this habit that is more like first nature as opposed to what we commonly call ‘second nature’.  I come to that moment in life when it’s all about to change forever.  For the better.  For the greater good- MY good, and then, I bolt in the other direction.  I don’t just turn tail and run either.  Oh no.  I make sure to create complete and utter chaos as I go.  Destruction.  Damage.  Setbacks are created.  Sabotage accomplished.  Ground zero.

Or, at least, I try really hard these days.

It’s a funny thing, the process.  Once you get going, and by that I mean, when you stop stopping and keep getting back up again after the self inflicted wounds are inflicted- well, the Universe kind of takes over.  Time spent in the trenches that we ourselves dig, shortens as does the depth of the trench.  The damage is less; what once took weeks to create and months to end now happens in a matter of days- leaving us more as whiplash victims than amputees.  The casualties are some how more casual and less victimized.  It isn’t perfect, but it isn’t standing on top of a parking garage threatening to jump either.  It’s a process.

And it’s painful.

I don’t know how I’m ever going to make it seem pretty when I actually take that step out into the real world and start sharing these tidbits of authenticity in a way that makes people want to be authentic…though now that I think about it- none of my teachers so far have ever said,

“It’s going to be fantastic!”

I’ve never read a book that says the real deal is a walk in the park, sunshine and rainbows. As a matter of fact, much like separateness, I have no idea where I got that silly notion.  What great anybody ever got there without a tantalizing trip through hell, both self inflicted and otherwise?

But here I am.  At some point you just know, not so much decide, that there is nothing worse than the life you are living and the pain you are feeling.  You realize that taking it on in one long, painful, but yet passing moment is going to be a helluva lot better than dragging yourself in and out of this suffering you call life.  There’s this moment in time when you go from ‘Ok, I’ll try’ to ‘There is no other choice’.  I don’t know when that moment was, but the Universe heard my soul proclaim it and I’ve been unable to go back.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  As of late, I’ve tried pretty much every day- and I go for the big guns.  There was a time when I thought that drinking, smoking and doing drugs were the big guns, but alas, no-  the matters of the heart- those are the tanks.  Companionship.  Drama.  Martyrdom.  Love- past, future, non existent…Not doing ‘the work’ like writing, reading, journalling- spending money that you have no business spending, committing crimes against ourselves and dragging innocent bystanders through it with us…that’s heavy artillery my friend.  I’m the Rambo of Default behavior.

Recently I learned that Defaults are the things we do every time the water gets rough.  A year ago I would have never saw these…but now I can’t NOT see them.  They’re like red hot pokers to my eyes.  The codependency.  The reaching and grasping for anyone and anything that used to make me feel whole…now it all just leaves me feeling like a hole.  I see what it used to be for me…I look into its eyes and I long for it, I glimpse at it, I reach for it, but it’s like a dream that I’m waking from and damn it all if I’m not trying to stay asleep.

There is great responsibility that comes with this life that chooses to live through us.  Not the life we choose to lead.  Not the one we pass off on our bad childhoods and our dysfunctional parents, our suffered abuses (the real ones, the fake ones, the self inflicted ones), but the one that survives in spite of all of that.  It’s a responsibility to our self, to the Universe, the common good and to God.  And it’s uber big.  It’s authentic.  It’s accountable. It’s undeniable.  And it chose you.  I used to think that I was making choices…and then I looked around the world and found myself asking,

“Why can’t everyone see this?”

And I remembered what Tolle said in The Power of Now about a woman choosing to be in an abusive relationship- She had no choice.  No one would choose insanity.  We all do the best we can in any given moment.  I don’t know why the world works like that.  I have had people in my life who tell me that I’m right.  They tell me they’re wrong.  That they know they are in their own way, their own worst enemies, but they don’t want to change.  So here’s my best guess.  It hurts.  There is no joy in the pain.  There’s nothing wonderful about sitting down with yourself and saying,

“Hey- this isn’t working.  The lying, cheating, stealing, eating poorly, manipulating, self hateful things we are doing here…and you know we are- they aren’t working.”

At first, I hated myself for all of it.  I’m going on three years now of this little journey-and it’s only been the last six months that I’ve been able to look at myself with any compassion and say,

“It’s ok.  You didn’t know how to stop.”

The Ego seems, at first and for a very long time, to be one big, fang ridden bad ass…But she’s not.  She’s terrified.  She’s been told her whole life that to exist you must be afraid- you must keep your guard up.  I’ve told countless lies to people just to protect myself…and them.  Do we lie to be deceitful?  Yes.  But, who are we deceiving and what’s the truth we are afraid of?  It’s a good idea to sit down with yourself and ask, what gives?  It’s a good idea to talk it out with you- I do it all the time and sometimes there is just not a lick of logic to what we do and why we do it.  Fear doesn’t need logic.

Recently, as in yesterday to be honest, I was still trying to live by default.  The Universe tested me…and thank God, did not let me fail.  But it wasn’t a lack of effort on my part and it most certainly is not for a lack of resentment because I’ll tell you this my friend, I am seething in that little diddy right now- even though I know it serves no purpose…but I seethe and I watch myself do so and I hope- I believe- that just hanging out with it instead of feeling bad for having it, is the key.  I’m not dousing the flames with gasoline…but I’m not fetching water either…because this is what I learned this week-

Some fires aren’t meant to burn.

A default is what we fall back on.  It’s our ‘reset’ button so to speak.  It’s what the Ego does to get itself right again.  A desperate attempt to retrieve that which is lost- or what we fear we are losing.  Let it go.  I know it’s hard.  I know because I’m still clinging to a default.  I’m holding onto something with both hands, claws dug in, teeth sunk in.  I’m not letting go.  I’m too scared…and here’s the creepy thing- I know it’s ok.  I have, get this- faith- that no matter how tightly I hold, how hard I make it on myself, if it needs to go, the Universe will see it done.  I do the best I can at any given moment.  That’s all any of us can do.  In looking back I can see now how much better my best has become.

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  1. #1 by Rebel Thriver on February 2, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Melissa, you are beautiful and strong. No one ever said that enlightenment would feel good or be a pretty process. I know the pain and the frustrations oh so well. Kahlil Gibran spoke on Pain,

    “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
    Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
    And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
    And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
    And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

    Much of your pain is self-chosen.
    It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
    Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
    For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
    And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.”

    I love you. Xo Ella

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